Gold surges most since 2009 as Fed keeps stimulus in place.

By The Associated Press

Gold had its biggest jump in more than four years Wednesday after the Federal Reserve surprised investors with a decision to keep its economic stimulus program in place.

Gold surged $54.70, or 4 percent, to $1,364.10 an ounce in late trading Wednesday, the largest gain since January 2009. Silver jumped $1.24, or 6 percent, to $23.02 an ounce.

Investors anticipated that the Fed’s continuation of its huge bond-buying program could cause inflation and weaken the dollar. Those tend to lift gold and silver prices.

Traders had expected the central bank to begin slowing down its $85 billion a month in bond purchases. The Fed said the economy wasn’t strong enough yet for the central bank to start winding down the program, which is aimed at keeping interest rates low to encourage borrowing and hiring.

Other commodity prices also rose. The dollar fell against other currencies.

Crude oil rose $2.65 or 2.5 percent, to $108.07 a barrel in New York, the biggest gain in three weeks. Oil also rose after the Energy Department reported that supplies of crude and gasoline fell more than analysts expected last week.

In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline rose 8 cents to $2.74 per gallon, natural gas fell 3 cents to $3.71 per 1,000 cubic feet and heating oil rose 4 cents to $3.04 per gallon.

Crop prices edged higher.

December wheat rose 3.5 cents to $6.465 a bushel. December corn rose 2.25 cents to $4.5625 a bushel and November soybeans rose 5.25 cents to $13.4775 a bushel.


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