By SANDY SHOREAP Business Writer
The price of gold rose modestly Monday ahead of the U.S. presidential election.
Gold for December delivery gained $8 to finish at $1,683.20 per ounce. Other commodities were mixed in light volume.
The latest national polls show the race between President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney is extremely tight on the day before the election.
Investors are cautious until the race is decided, but gold drew buyers looking for bargains after the price fell $40.30 to end at $1,675.20 an ounce Friday, said Dave Meger, a vice president of metals trading at Vision Financial Markets.
Also looming are a European Central Bank meeting Thursday and the package of tax increases and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff" that will take effect in the U.S. unless Congress acts by Jan. 1.
In other metals contracts for December delivery, silver rose 27.1 cents to finish at $31.128 per ounce, copper fell 1.15 cents to $3.47 per pound, and palladium gained $3.35 to $603 per ounce. January platinum fell $2.20 to $1,542.70 an ounce.
In other trading, the price of wheat rose on persistent questions about global supply heading into the U.S. winter wheat growing season. About 88 percent of the crop has been planted, but conditions remain dry in the key growing states of Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma and parts of Texas.
In addition, it appears supply is tightening in Ukraine and Russia.
"The general consensus, at least, seems to be at some point ... they're going to need to do something to curb exports," Telvent DTN analyst John Sanow said of the two countries.
December wheat rose 1.5 cents to end at $8.66 per bushel, December corn fell 4 cents to $7.355 per bushel and January soybeans fell 23.5 cents to $15.0325 per bushel.
Energy prices were mostly higher.
Benchmark oil rose 79 cents to finish at $85.65 per barrel, heating oil increased 3.55 cents to $2.9829 per gallon, wholesale gasoline rose 4.66 cents to $2.6202 per gallon, and natural gas was unchanged at $3.554 per 1,000 cubic feet.
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