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COMMODITIES : Gold, Silver Futures Surge as Dollar Declines Further

November 28, 1987|From Associated Press

Futures prices for gold and silver advanced sharply Friday as the dollar declined again and a variety of commodity prices moved higher.

In other markets, soybeans and soy meal posted strong gains, cattle futures were higher and pork was mixed. U.S. Treasury bonds were sharply lower and most foreign currencies advanced strongly against the dollar.

Some markets were closed for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, including the New York Mercantile Exchange and the Coffee, Sugar & Cocoa Exchange.

The run-up in gold and silver prices sent them to five-week highs.

"Liquidity in gold dried up after the stock market crash, but it's starting to come back," said Craig Sloane, an analyst with Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co. in New York.

"There's a lot of strength in precious metals," he said.

With the Commodity Research Bureau's index of commodity prices at a 2 1/2-year high, there's little reason to think the economy is headed into a recession, Sloane said.

"In fact," he said, "we could have a fairly strong economy still. There are no real signs of weakness."

On the Commodity Exchange in New York, gold closed $9.20 to $10.60 higher, with the contract for delivery in December at $486.10 an ounce. Silver was 20.5 cents to 24.5 cents higher, with December at $7.135 an ounce.

Traders said concern over the ability of Congress to stick to agreed-upon cuts in the budget deficit undermined the dollar and sent foreign currency futures higher on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

The West German mark for delivery in December was 71 points higher at 60.65 cents and the December Japanese yen advanced 76 points to 0.7501 cent.

Futures prices for soybeans and soy oil advanced strongly on the Chicago Board of Trade. The grains also rose.

Soybeans gained more than a dime a bushel and soy meal was up by better than $7 a ton for the December contract.

Prices were supported by rumors that the Soviet Union might be interested in U.S. soy meal and by speculation that India could be offered large quantities of vegetable oil as well as wheat and corn to offset damage to its crops.

"But next week could be critical for beans," said Steve Freed, an analyst with Dean Witter Reynolds Inc. in Chicago. "The market may be overbought and this could lead to profit taking."

Corn and wheat prices were helped by hopes for continuing good export business, traders said.

Wheat closed 3/4 cent to 2 1/2 cents higher, with the December contract at $3.035 a bushel; corn was 3/4 cent to 2 1/2 cents higher, with December at $1.90 a bushel; oats were 1 1/2 cents to 4 1/2 cents higher, with December at $2.09 a bushel, and soybeans were 4 cents to 12 cents higher, with January at $6.1075 a bushel.

Cattle futures prices rose while pork was mixed in light activity on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

The feed yards are beginning next week with relatively small inventories of cattle ready to market, said Charlie Richardson, an analyst with Lind-Waldock & Co. in Denver.

Hog prices, on the other hand, can be expected to be under pressure on Monday with expectations of a weaker spot market, he said.

Live cattle closed 0.12 cent to 0.42 cent higher, with the December contract at 66.35 cents a pound; feeder cattle were 0.30 cent to 0.80 cent higher, with January at 76.25 cents a pound; live hogs were 0.18 cent lower to 0.08 cent higher, with December at 44.72 cents a pound, and frozen pork bellies were 0.25 cent to 0.65 cent higher, with February at 56.60 cents a pound.

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