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The world's biggest gold processor, Rand Refinery Ltd., announced that sales of the South African Krugerrand gold coin had increased by 50% within one week, Commerzbank analysts said in a note to clients Monday. "Prior to that, Austria's and Australia's mints had already reported a clearly increased demand for gold coins. Thus, it is not surprising that speculative investors also continue to bet on rising prices," they said.
Silver tracked gold higher and finished up 5% on Monday. Silver for July delivery added 86 cents to $18.16 an ounce
Gold prices went from red to rallying Monday amid lingering concerns about the health of the world economy, briefly topping their May 12 record before settling a couple dollars short of that high mark.
"We're seeing a lot of people readjusting their portfolios trying to figure out the best flight-to-quality asset," said Adam Klopfenstein, a trader and senior strategist at Lind-Waldock in Chicago. Gold is the clear winner of the day, winning over U.S. bonds and currencies, as "people are feeling more confident buying gold," he added.
It is likely to be a volatile week for gold trading, as prices will continue to push higher and test new records, Klopfenstein added. "Right now people don't want to wait for the next leg down and they are jumping into gold."
With Europe's debt situation and BP Plc's /quotes/comstock/13*!bp/quotes/nls/bp (BP 36.79, +0.03, +0.08%) oil spill in the gulf as the main focus of concerns, gold is expected to remain "nervously up" as fears about the economic recovery will still dominate, he added.
On Friday, the contract gained $7.70, or 0.6%, to end at $1,217.70 an ounce, giving the precious metal a 0.3% gain for the holiday-shortened week.
BP's latest effort to stem the flow of oil in the gulf was partly successful, but as the oil slick has the potential to move about the Eastern seaboard it could affect a much larger swath of the population and economic activities, Meyers said.
"It could slow down the economy in a way we've never seen before ... believe me, I want to be wrong on this," he said.
Last week, markets came under heavy selling pressure after a Hungarian government spokesman said that the nation faced the same sort of debt trouble that pushed Greece onto shaky financial ground.