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21 Jan, 2008 06:44

Gold – safest haven of all

Gold prices hit record highs last week on anticipation of further rate cuts in the U.S. and a weakening of the U.S. dollar. The precious metal came back into focus as a hedge against instability and inflation, with concern about the global economy adding

In the wake of a dramatic rise over the past year – nearly 32% – gold pushed above the $US 900 per ounce mark in the new year as equities tumbled, coupled with fears over the global economy and the U.S. dollar continued its slide.

Recent U.S. rate cuts to head off a recession have encouraged investors to move away from the dollar, as equities worldwide experience a horror patch.

Analysts are seeing the precious metal push higher over the short to medium term with instability likely to continue.

As rising food prices and soaring energy costs undermine other investments gold is seen as possibly the safest haven of all.

Not all, however, are seeing it climb higher with weakening demand from jewelry producers possibly limiting its gains. But with the economic outlook clouding, more traders and investors are seeking light and safety in the oldest and hardest currency of them all.