Gold and silver futures prices continued their gains Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange as foreign currencies again strengthened against the dollar and new Russian economic proposals lent support for gold.

On other markets, natural gas advanced strongly. Grain futures rose, while soybeans fell.Gold rose after the dollar fell to its lowest level against the Japanese yen since May 11, making metals more attractive purchases to Japanese consumers and investors.

Further strengthening the market were remarks by Acting Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin that Russia intended to link its money supply to hard currency reserves. That statement, if true, would lessen the likelihood Russia would sell its gold reserves to raise desperately need cash.

Gold for December delivery settled up $1.80 at $290.10 an ounce; December silver rose 8 cents to $5.03 an ounce.