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Gold futures close up nearly $8

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Gold futures closed sharply higher Monday, extending their prior-session gains, boosted by softness in the dollar and general strength in the metals market.

Gold for August delivery closed up $7.70 at $662.50 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Other metals prices also gained ground. “Today's movements seem to be a buy into the metals and commodities in general,” said Zachary Oxman, senior trader at Wisdom Financial. A supply shortage and strike issues in base metals, such as London copper, are pushing the complex higher, he said.

“Gold is coming off of an oversold situation where most of the longs from early 2007 were liquidated, which is leading to a market that can be driven quickly either way as the trade re-approaches the market,” Oxman said. Crude-oil futures declined Monday, but traded above $72 a barrel, as traders locked in profits from recent gains.

On the currency markets, the dollar “generally has a softer bias after being unable to sustain upticks ahead of the weekend despite firm jobs data and a backing-up in US yields,” said Marc Chandler, foreign-exchange strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman, in a research note. The dollar traded at ¥123.42, while the euro held at $1.3628. The British pound traded at $2.0147.

“Gold prices started the new week off on the same positive note it finished the last one, as returning market participants found a softer dollar once again conducive to being on the long side of the bullion position fence,” said Jon Nadler, analyst at Kitco Bullion Dealers, in a research note. Gold futures closed up $4.20 an ounce on Friday, yielding a modest weekly gain.

Also on Nymex, September silver closed up 6.30 cents at $12.820 an ounce, October platinum gained $6.90 at $1,318.0 an ounce and September palladium gained $2.15 at $371.10 an ounce. September copper rose 3.50 cents at $3.6295 a pound.

Inventories and indexes: Gold warehouse inventories fell by 64,095 troy ounces to stand at 7.16 million troy ounces as of late Friday, according to Nymex data. Silver supplies rose to 135.1 million troy ounces, up 331,975 troy ounces, while copper supplies were unchanged at 22,123 short tons. (marketwatch.com)

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