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Gold falls 3 percent on hopes for limited shutdown


The price of gold slumped to its lowest level in nearly two months today as investors hoped that a partial shutdown of the U.S. government would be short-lived.

A relatively quick resolution to the standoff, and to a separate conflict in Washington over raising the country’s borrowing limit, would diminish the appeal of gold as a safe haven.

Gold for December delivery dropped $40.90, or 3.1 percent, to $1,286.10 an ounce, the lowest since Aug. 7. Gold has fallen 23 percent this year and is on track for its first annual loss since 2000.

“It looks like gold investors are voting for a resolution to the shutdown and a resolution to the debt ceiling,” said Dean Junkas, the chief investment officer of Wells Fargo Private Bank.

“If gold investors were thinking that we’re not going to have a resolution on the budget and we’re going to have a disaster on the debt ceiling issue, I would think that gold would be up forty bucks instead of down forty bucks,” Junkas said.

Prices for other metals also fell. December silver shed 53.30 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $21.175 an ounce, December copper fell 4.9 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $3.274 a pound, January platinum fell $27.10, or 1.9 percent, to $1,385.30 an ounce and December palladium fell $8.25, or 1 percent, to $718.90 an ounce.

Energy prices mostly fell. Benchmark oil for November delivery fell 29 cents to close at $102.04 a barrel in New York.

Wholesale gasoline fell 2 cents to close at $2.61 per gallon, natural gas rose 5 cents to close at $3.61 per 1,000 cubic feet and heating oil fell 1 cent to close at $2.96 per gallon.

Crop futures were mixed a day after corn slumped to its lowest in more than three years after a government estimate of corn stocks came in higher than expected.

December corn fell 2.5 cents to $4.39 a bushel, December wheat rose 2.75 cents to $6.8125 a bushel and November soybeans fell 14.75 cents to $12.68 a bushel.

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