Gold recovers slightly after a steep drop

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NEW YORK (AP) — The price of gold gained back some ground on Tuesday, a day after its biggest drop in 30 years.

Gold gained $26.30 to settle at $1,387.40 an ounce, a gain of 1.9 percent.

On Monday it plunged $140 an ounce, or 9 percent, as concerns about a slower world economy spurred a widespread sell-off in commodities and stocks.

Traders buying gold Tuesday were getting the precious metal at its lowest price since February 2011.

Gold and industrial metals fell hard Tuesday after China reported that economic growth slowed unexpectedly in the first three months of the year. The world's second-largest economy grew by 7.7 percent over a year earlier, slower than many forecasts.

After the slight gain Tuesday, gold is still down 14 percent for the month.

Silver increased 26.7 cents, 1.1 percent, to $23.628 an ounce. Silver is down 17 percent for the month.

Industrial metals also recovered some of their losses. Platinum gained $25.80 to $1,450.60 an ounce, an increase of 1.8 percent. Palladium climbed $11.20 to $678.20 an ounce, a 1.7 percent rise.

Copper rose 3.25 cents to $3.3055 a pound.

Agricultural futures also moved higher. Wheat, corn and soybeans all rose.

Wheat gained 9.75 cents to $7.035 a bushel, corn rose 16.5 cents to $6.6325 a bushel and soybeans gained 16.5 cents to $14.115 a bushel.

In energy trading, concerns about the global economy weighed on crude oil prices.

Oil fell as low as $86.06 a barrel on Tuesday before recovering to $88.72 a barrel, up one penny for the day. Oil dropped nearly 3 percent on Monday.

Crude has fallen nearly 10 percent this month on concerns about the sluggish global economy, while supplies of remain ample.

In other futures trading on the Nymex:

— Heating oil dropped 2 cents to $2.81 a gallon.

— Wholesale gasoline rose 2 cents to $2.78 a gallon.

— Natural gas rose 2 cents to $4.16 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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