Gold tops $1,550 an ounce; silver soars
Prices continue to rally as the dollar weakens and European inflation accelerates ahead of expectations.
By Andrea Tse, TheStreet
Updated at 2:35 p.m. ET
Gold (-GC) for June delivery shot up $25.20, or 1.6%, to settle at an all-time high of $1,556.40 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Spot gold prices were up $25.70, according to Kitco's gold index.
Silver (-SI) prices for July gained $1.06, or 2.2%, at $48.60 an ounce.
Gold and silver futures built on Thursday's gains, as European inflation accelerated to 2.8% in April, which was much higher than the 2% European Central Bank target. European inflation rose at its fastest clip in two and a half years amid soaring energy prices.
The U.S. dollar index was slipping 0.2% Friday to $72.93. Since Wednesday's comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, the dollar has been weakening while the metals have rallied. Silver prices have risen nearly 8% since Tuesday's close, while gold gained 3.5% over that time.
The unanimous decision by the Fed to keep interest rates between 0% and 0.25% until at least the fall and to keep its balance sheet the same size after quantitative easing ends in June means cheap money will stay in the system for the medium term.
The Fed will reinvest its profits from its current $600 billion bond-buying program back into the market not adding extra cash but not taking any out either. Inflation forecasts were also below the Fed's 2% target, which means the central bank would like to see more inflation. Some experts are calling this “QE 2.5,” saying that this leaves the door open to a third round of quantitative easing, or QE 3.
"You'd almost think Ben Bernanke wants Americans to dump the dollar and switch into precious metals," said Adrian Ash, head of research at BullionVault.com.
Gold mining stocks, a risky but potentially profitable way to buy gold, were mostly higher Friday. Kinross Gold (KGC) was up 1.2% at $15.88, Goldcorp (GG) was rising 1.5% to $55.89, Agnico-Eagle (AEM) was soaring 3.1% to $69.64, and Eldorado Gold (EGO) was rallying 2.4% at $18.33.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished an upbeat week on a mixed note. The S&P 500 shed less than a point, ending the week higher by 1.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) cemented a 1.7% advance for the week. High-beta names underperformed, which weighed on the Nasdaq Composite (-0.3%) and the Russell 2000 (-1.3%).
Equity indices displayed strength in the early going with the S&P 500 tagging the 2,019 level during the opening 30 minutes of the action. However, ... More
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