By The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) - Prices for gold and silver jumped Thursday after the Federal Reserve said it would take aggressive steps to try to spur the U.S. economy.
Gold and silver, which had traded flat to slightly down throughout the morning, shot up after the Fed released its decision at 12:30 p.m. EDT. Gold finished more than 2 percent higher. Silver jumped more than 4 percent.
Investors often put their money into gold when the Fed gets more involved in the economy. Fed actions carry the risk of causing inflation. Some investors view gold as a way to protect themselves from rising prices.
Gold for December delivery jumped $38.40 to $1,772.10 per ounce. December silver jumped $1.486 to $34.778 per ounce.
Some wondered how long the increase would last. Both gold and silver have been rising since the start of August, because investors were already expecting the Fed to take action.
"We suspect that the uptick could morph quickly into a light round of profit-taking, since much of the Fed move is already baked into prices," Edward Meir of INTL FCStone wrote in a note to clients.
The moves in gold and silver also boosted other key metals.
December copper rose 1.75 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $3.71 per pound.
December palladium rose $9.70, or 1.4 percent, to $689 per ounce. October platinum rose $29.90, or 1.8 percent, to $1,679.50 per ounce.
Platinum prices, which had the biggest move, have been rising for the past month because of violent strikes at mines in South Africa.
The Fed's move also pushed up the price of oil, but couldn't propel other energy products.
In New York, benchmark crude rose $1.30 to $98.31 per barrel, its first close above $98 in more than four months. Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, rose 55 cents to $115.88 per barrel in London.
Wholesale gasoline fell 4 cents to $2.96 a gallon. Natural gas lost 3 cents at $3.04 per 1,000 cubic feet. Heating oil fell less than a penny to close at $3.21 a gallon.
Prices for key crops were up slightly. December wheat jumped 12 cents to $9.02 per bushel. December corn rose 4.25 cents to $7.7375 per bushel. November soybeans were virtually flat, rising 1.5 cents to $17.472 per bushel.
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