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Wednesday 20th of August 2008
March 30, 2006

Gold, silver, platinum hit new highs


by Elaine Frei

Precious metals reached highs on Thursday, with gold and silver hitting long-time records and platinum finding a record high $1,090 per troy ounce.

Gold traded at $586.40 per troy ounce during the day, a $13 gain over Wednesday’s late quotes and its highest price since the beginning of 1981 before dropping slightly in later trade. The price of gold is up more than 13 percent since the start of the year and traders are looking ahead to the metal reaching the $600 level soon.

Silver was 40 cents higher on the day, trading at $11.50 per troy ounce at one point. Silver has not traded at such a high level since September of 1983, and has risen 13.5 percent just since March 21. It was on that day that the US Securities and Exchange Commission approved a rule change for the American Stock Exchange that allows a new way to trade in silver.

In base metals, meanwhile, copper reached a new high price for the sixth session in a row, trading at $5,430 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange. It was the first time that copper has breached the $5,400 level, driven by low inventories. Copper prices are up 72 percent from where they were at the beginning of 2005.

Zinc also reached a record high on the day, trading at $2,677 per tonne during the day. The price of zinc has more than doubled since the start of 2005, with the gains due to supply that cannot keep up with demand.

Crude oil prices were up on the day, as well. West Texas Intermediate crude added 10 cents to $66.55 per barrel in late morning trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange. By late afternoon on the International Petroleum Exchange in London May contract Brent crude was up 64 cents to $65.20 per barrel.

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