Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Silver hits 15-month high as gold touches record

Silver prices rallied to their highest since July 2008 in Europe on Tuesday as gold prices rose to a record above $1,065.00 an ounce, Few tips to buy gold boosted by persistent weakness in the dollar.

The US currency slid to 13-month lows against the euro on Tuesday. Weakness in the unit makes dollar-priced commodities like gold and silver cheaper for holders of other currencies.

Spot silver hit a peak of $18.01 an ounce, and was bid at $17.90 an ounce at 1119 GMT against $17.68 late in New York on Monday.

Gold rose to a record high at $1,063.60 an ounce on Tuesday as the dollar slipped against the euro, increasing the metal's appeal as an alternative asset.

Firmer oil prices and an improvement in physical demand for gold after a sluggish year for jewellery buying are also lifting gold prices, analysts said.

Spot gold was bid at $1,062.70 an ounce at against $1,055.25 late in New York on Monday.

Weak physical demand for gold raises doubts about the sustainability of high prices, although it may hold on to the $1,000 level for the next few months, a senior official at major metals consultancy GFMS said on Tuesday.

Investment and jewellery demand have been key drivers behind the steady rise in gold prices over the past few years, and current weakness in jewellery demand is a worrying sign, said GFMS chief executive Paul Walker. "My concern is that this market is becoming increasingly uni-dimensional," Walker said at a seminar in Tokyo.

"One pillar, jewellery demand, has become eroded. The question we must ask is, is there a compelling, sustainable case for investment in gold in the short to medium term?"

India, the world's largest consumer of bullion, holds the key to the outlook for demand and how high and sustained gold prices will be in the next 6-18 months, he said. "We are starting to see stresses and strains in what consumers are willing to spend. The volume argument is starting to move against gold," Walker said.

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