Gold ends at record $1,822 on growth fears
Metal tops $1,800 an ounce as slowdown concerns grip marketsAug. 18, 2011
Aug. 18, 2011
By Claudia Assis, MarketWatch
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Gold futures on Thursday settled at a record $1,822 an ounce as fears of a global economic slowdown gripped markets and the day’s macroeconomic reports gave such worries even more weight.
Gold for December delivery GC1Z +1.88% added $28.20, or 1.6%, to end at $1,822 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Nervous markets look to Fed meetCapital market volatility may have declined, but worries about global growth are still driving stock indexes sharply lower ahead of the Fed's annual get-together in Wyoming next week.
It traded as high as $1,829.70 an ounce, an intraday record for the metal, based on the Nymex’s preliminary tally.
“There’s so much talk about a double dip” for the U.S. economy, said James Cordier, a portfolio manager with Optionsellers.com in Florida.
Investors who had tried to make it a go for stocks are now “piling into gold“ as equities have had a second swoon, he said.
“It seems as though (gold) is the last safety net available,” Cordier said.
Gold had settled at a then-record $1,793.80 an ounce Wednesday. So far this month, gold has gained more than 10%, with yearly gains surpassing 26%. Read more about Wednesday's action in gold.
U.S. stocks slumped Thursday, and oil futures settled down nearly 6%.
Earlier, investors grappled with news that initial jobless claims in the week ending Aug. 13 rose 9,000 to 408,000, according to the Labor Department. The increase was larger than analysts had expected, with the consensus forecast around a rise to 400,000. Read more about jobless claims.
The other macroeconomic data points of the day added to the uglier outlook for the U.S. economy, giving more fodder to talks of a recession.
The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank’s business outlook survey fell to negative 30.7 in August from 3.2 in July -- the lowest reading since March 2009. Read more about the Philly Fed’s factory index.
The cost of living in the U.S. climbed in July, mostly thanks to energy prices, as the consumer price index rose 0.5%, its biggest gain since March. See more about retail prices rising.
Gold is often thought as the ultimate storer of wealth, and thrives in times when inflation is more of a concern.
Sales of existing homes fell 3.5% in July to an eight-month low. Read more about the day’s housing data.
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