Speculators had a field day in metal and currency futures yesterday as prices shot up in reaction to new anti-inflation measures announced by President Carter.
Gloom over the short-term prospects of the U.S. dollar pushed the prices of contracts for silver, platinum, the Japanese yen, the Swiss franc and the West German mark higher by the daily allowable trading limit across the board.
On New York's Comex, all silver contracts finished above the psychological $6-an-ounce price barrier to close higher by the daily trading limit at $6.06 for the November delivery. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum shot up by $10 anounce to finish at $353 an ounce.
Gold prices turned slightly downward after Treasury Secretary Michael Blumenthal indicated at a news conference that the government may take new measures to shore up the sagging dollar.
But gold prices strengthened again on the Complex to follow general price trends, including record cash prices for gold in London, finishing $5.70 to $6.60 an ounce higher at $233.70 for the October delivery. Copper prices surged to 69.85 cents a poung for December.
On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange's International Monetary Market, futures in Japanese, Swiss and West German currencles - all of which have soared recently despite intervention to stabilize currency relationships - scored 100-point limit gains.
On the Chicago Board of Trade, grain and soybean prices rose in a burst of speculative buying that reflected activity in the precious metals and currencies.
A published report that the housing industry may be heading for a slowdown, plus weaker cash prices, pushed lumber futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange lower by $4.50 to the $5 daily trading limit per 1,000board feet.
On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, futures in live cattle and pork products were lower, with live cattle dropping as much as 1 to 17 cents a pound. Analysts cited general pessimism about the economy and future consumer demand, plus fears that meat products eventually might be subjected to price limits of some sort.