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Originally published Friday, August 23, 2013 at 1:35 PM

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Gold jumps near $1,400 after home sales plunge

Gold prices rose sharply Friday after the U.S. government reported that sales of new homes plunged last month, raising concerns about the housing market's recovery.

The Associated Press

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Gold prices rose sharply Friday after the U.S. government reported that sales of new homes plunged last month, raising concerns about the housing market's recovery.

Gold for December delivery rose $25, or 1.8 percent, to settle at $1,395.80 an ounce, the highest price since June.

Traders bought gold after the Commerce Department reported that home sales fell 13.4 percent last month. That shook investors' confidence in the housing recovery and the broader economy.

Gold tends to rise when traders anticipate weakness in the economy and a slower wind-down of the Federal Reserve's economic stimulus program. That could weaken the dollar over time, making gold more appealing.

Silver for September delivery rose 70 cents, or 3 percent, to $23.74 an ounce. Copper for September delivery rose 2 cents to $3.35 a pound, October platinum rose $1.50 to $1,541.60 an ounce and September palladium fell $4.20 to $750.85 an ounce.

Beans and grains rose.

November soybeans jumped 41.25 cents to $13.28 a bushel. December corn rose 5.5 cents to $4.70 a bushel and December wheat also rose 5.5 cents to $6.46 a bushel.

In energy trading, crude oil for October delivery gained $1.39, or 1.3 percent, to close at $106.42 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Heating oil added 3 cents to $3.10 per gallon, natural gas fell 6 cents to $3.49 per 1,000 cubic feet and wholesale gasoline gained 3 cents to $2.87 per gallon.

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