Signs of economic growth lure traders out of gold

Gold prices are settling lower as more signs of growth in the U.S. economy draw traders away from precious metals.

Gold for June delivery fell $6.20 to settle at $1,284.60 an ounce on Thursday.

Silver for May lost 25 cents to $19.81 an ounce.

The U.S. service sector grew in March, according to the Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing index. The industry survey, out Thursday, also showed hiring picking up.

Better economic reports have helped drag down gold prices over the past month. An improving economy makes it more likely that the Federal Reserve will start raising interest rates next year, weakening the appeal of gold and other precious metals as investments.

In other trading, wheat, corn and soybean prices rose. Crude oil rose 67 cents to $100.29 a barrel.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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