Friday 24 September 2010
Gold prices struck a record $1,299.90 an ounce in mid-day trade on the London Bullion Market as investors sought a safe-haven for their money amid increased uncertainty over the global economic outlook.
Silver meanwhile jumped to $21.41 an ounce — its highest level since October 1980.
Gold and silver were also driven by keen demand from exchange traded funds (ETFs).
Gold also won support from the weakening US currency, which makes the dollar-priced metal cheaper for buyers using stronger currencies and so tends to stimulate demand and prices.
Gold gained additional support this week after the US Federal Reserve hinted at more stimulus spending if the tepid US economic recovery cools further, sending the dollar reeling.
Meanwhile, global stocks rallied and the dollar slid on Friday as US and German data lifted spirits while a housing report bolstered speculation the Federal Reserve will boost money supply to aid the struggling economy.
US oil futures prices climbed above $76 a barrel, buoyed by growing expectations that the Fed will pump another round of billions of dollars into the economy to encourage growth.
Wall Street gained almost 2 percent, putting US stocks on course for four weeks of gains, while European equity indexes closed up about 1 percent. Emerging markets lagged, advancing 0.7 percent, according to an MSCI index.
US Treasury debt and Bund futures fell in volatile trading as the US data supported a shift out of government bonds and into riskier assets.
The euro was up 1.24 percent at $1.3475.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 178.91 points, or 1.68 percent, at 10,841.33. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 21.35 points, or 1.90 percent, at 1,146.18.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 44.70 points, or 1.92 percent, at 2,371.78.
European stocks reversed losses and staged a late rally, with Spain’s tougher-than-expected 2011 budget helping lift the mood as investors were reassured of the country’s willingness to tackle its debt.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares closed 1.2 percent higher at 1,078.15 points.
Crude oil advanced. US light sweet crude oil rose $1.18, or 1.6 percent, to $76.36 a barrel.
Japan’s Nikkei share average dropped 1 percent to end at 9,471.67 after initially climbing on the yen intervention talk. The MSCI index for Asia ex-Japan stocks was up 0.5 percent.