Precious metals futures prices advanced Wednesday, but analysts said the gains were relatively modest in view of the sharp decline in the dollar and the stock and bond markets.
In other areas, grains and soybeans were higher, livestock and meat futures declined and oil was higher.
The dollar skidded when the Commerce Department said the nation's trade deficit in August was $15.7 billion, an improvement over July but about $1 billion more than the average expectation.
"The metals didn't make . . . a big move" in view of what happened in currencies, stocks and bonds, said Craig Sloane, an analyst in New York with Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co.
Silver futures approached the $8 an ounce mark, but bumped into resistance at $7.98.
"Silver was the leader (among precious metals) and it couldn't get over the hump," Sloane said.
"It's often the case that metals don't move in lock step with some of the other markets," he said. "Over time, it all works out, but maybe not on a day-to-day basis."