Gold, silver surge on higher unemployment claims

By: AP
By: AP

New York City -- Gold and silver prices are surging after the government reported higher wholesale prices and a jump in first-time applications for unemployment benefits.

Gold settled up 1.2 percent Thursday and silver rose 3.6 percent.

The Labor Department says more people applied for unemployment benefits last week, the first increase in three weeks.

In addition, higher gasoline costs pushed wholesale prices up in March.

The news is adding to worries about Europe's financial problems, Japan's crisis and uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa.

Many investors are buying precious metals because they are considered to be relatively stable during times of uncertainty.

Oil and natural gas prices rose. Wheat, corn and soybeans fell.

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