Commodity Online

NEW YORK: Gold futures ended strong Wednesday at the New York Mercantile Exchange as US dollar continued its southward journey against euro.

Gold also benefited from renewed jitters about the financial crisis, after The Wall Street Journal reported that a $19 billion deal to take Clear Channel Communications Inc.

The April contract gained $14.20, or 1.5%, to settle at $949.20 an ounce on the Nymex. The dollar index, which tracks the value of the greenback against a basket of major currencies, fell 0.5% to 71.726 from late trading.

The dollar came under renewed pressure, especially against the euro, after reports showing resilient business sentiment in the euro zone's two biggest economies.

News of a 1.7% drop in U.S. orders for durable goods in February, marking a second decline in a row, further pressured the U.S. currency. In addition, new homes also fell to a 13 year low in February.

Also on Nymex Wednesday, silver for May delivery ended up 3% at $18.38 an ounce. May copper futures climb 1.4% to $3.73 a pound.

Platinum for April rallied 1.3% to $2,012.60 an ounce. June palladium sat out the rally, closing 0.7% lower at $459.70 an ounce.