Gold at $500

Gold finally broke $500 an ounce.

“People are looking for an alternative investment to U.S. dollar-based instruments. The expectations of inflation in the coming year are very high,” said Albert Cheng, Far East managing director for the industry-backed World Gold Council.
But jewelry manufacturers and buyers may need time to adjust to the high prices, Cheng said. The council said this month that global demand for gold in the third quarter totaled 838 tonnes, a rise of 7 percent from the same quarter a year earlier, as surging investment demand helped offset a slowdown from the jewelry sector.
Some analysts said gold prices could fall to as low as $475 an ounce on liquidation by investment funds to book profits.
The latest weekly Commitments of Traders report issued by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Monday showed the speculative net long position in New York’s COMEX gold were closer to record high levels.
But the rally was also helped by reports that Russia, Argentina and South Africa had decided to increase the amount of gold in their reserves, reversing a six-year trend of central bank sales, mainly from Europe.
Platinum stood at $993/996 an ounce after spiking earlier to $1,002. It closed in New York at $989/993.
This year, not enough platinum is being mined and recycled to meet demand for catalytic converters and jewelry, so fundamentals have factored into the buoyant market.
Refining and chemical company Johnson Matthey, which provides fundamental analysis of platinum group metals, said in a recent report that 6.71 million ounces of platinum would be used in 2005, exceeding supply of 6.59 million ounces as demand rises from the auto sector and other industries.
It predicted that output from South Africa, the world’s top producer, would be lower than planned and the shortfall would continue to support prices.

Posted by on November 29th, 2005 at 3:52 pm

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