Reuters: GOLD Speeds Past $600; Highest Since December 1980!
How high will the price of GOLD rise before YOU consider buying some?
GOLD SPEEDS PAST $600; Highest Since December 1980
Mon April 10, 2006 11:27 PM ET
by Lewa Pardomuan
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Gold raced above its fabled $600-an-ounce level on Tuesday, the highest since December 1980, as investors poured money into the metal on worries about inflation, Middle East tensions and uncertainties over the dollar's outlook.
Silver tracked gold's gains and rose to another 23-year high before retreating, while platinum paused for breath after hitting a record high the previous day.
Soaring gold price briefly lifted shares of mining firms in Australia, the world's second-largest bullion producer after South Africa. Newcrest Mining Ltd, Australia's biggest gold miner, gained 1.5 percent before dipping.
"We're there mate, we've done it," said Darren Heathcote, head of trading at N M Rothschild in Sydney.
Spot gold hit a high of $602.40 an ounce before easing to $601.60/$602.40 by 0304 GMT, higher than $598.80/$599.60 an ounce late in New York on Monday.
Gold, considered a hedge against uncertainties during troubled times, has risen more than 16 percent this year, about 41 percent in the past 12 months, and 100 percent in four years.
The metal has also been rallying due to rising oil prices.
"The signals are still strong, people are still happy to buy in dips. Whilst we're below $600, the range is probably somewhere around $597.50 and $600. But if we break above $600, we're probably looking to test that $604.50 area," Heathcote said.
Investors have turned to surging commodities markets for investment alternatives to equities, bonds and foreign exchange, where returns have not been as good, said dealers.
Tensions in the Middle East over Iran's nuclear intentions, uncertainty about the dollar's outlook, worries about rising energy costs and speculation that central banks will diversify into metals have also boosted gold's appeal, they said.
U.S. crude oil futures headed toward $69 a barrel on Tuesday due to rising friction over Iran's nuclear program and continuing supply disruptions in Nigeria.
"The market is very aware of the so-called huge decline that is supposed to come, but people think it's not coming yet. I like this market," said a bullion dealer in Singapore.
"The target is really around $615. The market has to go to that level to sustain the gains. The oil price is still very high and this gives a lot of feel-good factors," he said.
In Japan, the benchmark most distant February gold contract on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange hit another 18-year high of ¥2,316 yen ($19.53) per gram on renewed fund buying.
Spot silver rose to as high as $12.90 an ounce before easing to $12.84/$12.87 an ounce, still higher than $12.68/$12.71 late in New York.
Silver, both a precious and industrial metal, is used in jewelry, photography and dentistry.
The metal has been rising since Barclays Global Investors last year filed for U.S. regulatory approval of its proposed iShares Silver Trust, which would trade on the American Stock Exchange and track the price of silver.
Each share would be worth one-tenth of an ounce of the metal.
Platinum was steady at $1,087/$1,092 an ounce but off a record high of $1,095 hit on Monday.
Sister metal palladium rose to $357/$362 an ounce from $354/$360 late in New York.
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Reuters: GOLD Speeds Past $600; Highest Since December 1980