Gold and silver futures prices were sharply higher in brisk volume Tuesday on the New York Commodity Exchange, and traders said international developments and worries about the U.S. economy boosted the metals.
Rumors of additional U.S. banking problems in Texas, Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker's recent statements about the federal budget and a weakened U.S. dollar supported gold prices Tuesday, said Bill O'Neill, director of research in New York for Rudolf Wolff Commodities. "Reports of renewed Iran-Iraq fighting were good for petroleum prices and for gold too," he said.
Soybean futures prices were mostly higher, corn was mixed and wheat lower on the Chicago Board of Trade.
Livestock and meat prices were higher on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Prices for live hogs and frozen pork bellies were supported by anticipation that the U.S. Commerce Department will rule soon that Canada is subsidizing its hog producers, thus giving them an unfair advantage over U.S. farmers, analysts said. Such a ruling could force the United States to slap a duty on hogs and pork exports from its northern neighbor.
Crude oil and heating oil prices moved higher on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Coffee prices were lower on the Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange in New York.