Gold prices started the New Year higher Thursday as the precious metal rebounded from its worst year since 1981.
The actively traded February contract for gold rose $22.90, or 2 percent, to $1,225.20 an ounce. Silver also rose sharply. The March contract jumped 75.8 cents, or 4 percent, to settle at $20.128 an ounce.
Gold fell 28 percent in 2013 as the Federal Reserve said it would start winding down part of its easy-money policies. The Fed’s bond purchases had helped send gold prices higher by getting investors worried about inflation.
In other metals trading, platinum for April delivery rose $30.80 or 2.2 percent, to $1,404.60 an ounce. Palladium for March delivery rose $11.95, or 1.7 percent, to $730.25 an ounce.
Copper for March delivery fell 1.5 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $3.3815 a pound.
Oil prices fell sharply on expectations of higher global supplies and as the U.S. dollar strengthened. Crude for February delivery dropped $2.98, or 3 percent, to $95.44 a barrel.
In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline fell 9.1 cents to close at $2.695 a gallon, heating oil fell 7.8 cents to close at $2.987 a gallon and natural gas futures for February rose 9.1 cents to close at $4.321 per 1,000 cubic feet.
In March agricultural contracts, wheat fell 8.25 cents to $5.97 a bushel, corn fell 1.5 cents to $4.205 a bushel and soybeans fell 22.5 cents to $12.70 a bushel.