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Tue 23 Aug 2011 08:38 AM

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Gold tops $1,910 for first time on safe haven status

Investors seek to protect their wealth amid speculation that global economy is slowing

Gold tops $1,910 for first time on safe haven status
GLITTERING RISE: Gold is gaining for an 11th year, advancing 34 percent (Getty Images)

Gold advanced to an all-time high above $1,910 as investors
sought to protect their wealth against financial turmoil amid speculation that
the global economy is slowing. Platinum gained to the highest in more than
three years.

Bullion for immediate delivery rose as much as 0.8 percent
to $1,913.50 an ounce before trading at $1,897.38 an ounce at 11:04 am in
Singapore. The metal is up 17 percent in August, heading for its best monthly
performance since 1982. Silver gained to the most expensive in more than three
months.

“Gold has continued to blast ahead even with a relatively
strengthening US dollar, strongly performing treasuries and other safe havens,”
Peter Richardson, chief metals economist at Morgan Stanley Australia Ltd, said
by phone from Melbourne. “All of that tells me that this is really all about
preserving real purchasing-power.”

The metal is gaining for an 11th year, advancing 34 percent,
as holdings in exchange-traded products reached a record on August 8 and central
banks add to their reserves for the first time in a generation. George Soros,
the billionaire investor, cut his holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust this year as
prices rallied, while billionaire John Paulson maintained the largest stake,
according to regulatory filings.

The precious metal may reach $2,000 by December 31,
extending this year’s gain to 41 percent, the most in more than three decades,
according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 13 traders and
analysts at a conference in Kovalam in South India on August 20.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S Bernanke may signal
additional measures to stimulate the economy at a meeting of central bankers in
Jackson Hole, Wyoming this week, potentially weakening the dollar. Yields on US
Treasuries touched record lows this month as global equities slumped.

December-delivery gold rose as much as 1.4 percent to a
record $1,917.90 an ounce. Bullion priced in euros, sterling, Swiss francs,
South African rand and Australian and New Zealand dollars jumped to all-time
highs. June-delivery gold on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange and December-delivery
metal on the Shanghai Futures Exchange climbed to their highest ever.

“Things aren’t looking particularly positive,” said Darren
Heathcote, Sydney-based head of trading at Investec Bank (Australia) Ltd. “The
market is very, very skittish” and “it wouldn’t surprise me to see gold push
higher in the current environment,” he said.

Paulson & Co. maintained 31.5 million shares in the SPDR
Gold Trust at the end of the second quarter, according to a filing with the
Securities and Exchange Commission last week. He’s the biggest investor in the
largest exchange-traded fund backed by bullion, where holdings climbed to a
record 1,309.92 metric tons on August 8.

Spot silver climbed as much as 1.1 percent to $44.25 an
ounce, the highest since May 3, and traded at $43.3775 an ounce.
December-delivery silver jumped 2.1 percent to $44.295. Cash platinum advanced
as much as 0.7 percent to $1,916.75 an ounce, the highest price since July
2008, and traded at $1,903.25 Palladium fell 0.5 percent to $760.38.

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