Gold Crosses $1,000 Mark

LONDON — Gold rose to more than $1,000 an ounce in New York for the first time in almost a year as investors, spooked by plunging stocks and a deepening recession, sought to protect

By (Bloomberg)

Published: Sun 22 Feb 2009, 1:02 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:56 AM

Gold futures for April delivery rose as much as $23.80, or 2.4 per cent, to $1,000.30 an ounce and traded at $995.10 at 9:40 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange’s Comex division. Gold, the only metal to advance in 2008, has rallied every year since 2000.

Global stocks have extended their slide, erasing 42 per cent of their value since the end of August on concern that the economic slump may worsen and wipe out corporate earnings.

Governments are lowering interest rates and spending trillions of dollars to combat the recession, also spurring investors to buy bullion as a hedge against potential inflation. Physical demand has pushed gold holdings in exchange-traded funds to records.

“One camp of investors is buying gold because of fear the fiscal stimulus packages are insufficient to bring the economy out of recession,” said Peter Fertig, owner of Quantitative Commodity Research Ltd. in Hainburg, Germany. “The other camp fears the stimulus packages will lead to inflation.”

Gold last topped $1,000 on March 18 in New York, partly as a hedge against weakness in the dollar. The last time the metal traded this high, the price reached a record $1,033.90 on March 17 before retreating to as low as $681 in October. This time, analysts expect the rally will continue as investors lose confidence in financial assets.

“People will soon realise the dollar is just as bad as other currencies,” said Mario Innecco, a futures broker at MF Global Ltd. in London. “Last year the other currencies were still quite strong. This year we’ve had a year of more troubles, and troubles are still piling up.”

Gold is cementing its status as a haven investment as governments seek to flood the financial system with cash in an effort to haul the global economy out of a recession.

Gold above $1,000 may attract more investors seeking to take advantage of the longest advance in the metal’s price in 60 years. Assets in some of the industry’s largest exchange-traded funds are at all-time highs.

Holdings in ETF Securities Ltd.’s gold exchange-traded commodities rose to a record 7 million ounces as of February 13. The SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest ETF backed by the metal, expanded to 1,029 metric tonnes Thursday, closing in on the reserve holdings of Switzerland, with 1,040 tonnes, as the world’s sixth-largest owner of gold.

Investment demand for bullion, including coins and bars, almost tripled to 399 tonnes in the fourth quarter, as total demand climbed 26 per cent to 1,036.5 tonnes in the period, the London-based World Gold Council said on February 18. Retail and professional investors will continue to seek gold’s stability, said Aram Shishmanian, the council’s chief executive officer.

Among other metals, silver gained 46.5 cents, or 3.3 per cent, to $14.40 an ounce in New York. The metal climbed 23 per cent this year before today, the best-performing commodity this year in the UBS Bloomberg CMCI Index of 26 raw materials.

Platinum jumped $13, or 1.2 per cent, to $1,089.50 an ounce, and palladium fell 10 cents to $216.50 an ounce
New York.

Gold’s all-time inflation adjusted record is $2,224 on January 21, 1980, according to a calculator on the Web site of the Federal Reserve Bank of

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