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Gold Rises Over $1400, Silver at 30-Year High

Gold Rises, Silver Gains to 30-Year High as Unrest Spurs Demand

February 18, 2011, 4:27 AM EST

By Claudia Carpenter

Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Gold rose, silver gained to a 30- year high and palladium jumped to the highest price in almost 10 years on demand for precious metals to hedge against declines in other assets because of unrest in the Middle East.

At least five people have been killed since demonstrations against Bahrain’s ruling Al Khalifa family began on Feb. 14. Demonstrators in Libya yesterday demanded the government’s overthrow. Gold bar and coin demand in the Middle East jumped 39 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, according to World Gold Council figures released yesterday.

“If you see violence, you would buy gold expecting that the domestics would buy gold,” said Peter Fertig, owner of Quantitative Commodity Research Ltd. in Hainburg, Germany.

Gold for immediate delivery climbed $2.85, or 0.2 percent, to $1,386.95 an ounce by 8:49 a.m. in London, bringing the gain this week to 2.2 percent, the most since the last week of 2010. Gold futures for April delivery climbed $2.20, or 0.2 percent, to $1,387.30 an ounce on the Comex in New York.

Silver jumped as much as 0.6 percent to $31.9775 an ounce, the highest since March 7, 1980, and palladium climbed 0.5 percent to $848.88 an ounce, the highest since Feb. 28, 2001.

The record for spot gold is $1,431.25 an ounce, set on Dec. 7. The metal will probably climb to $1,440 in two or three weeks, Fertig said.

Assets in gold-backed exchange traded products increased 3.5 tons to 2,019.92 tons yesterday, the first rise in three days, data compiled by Bloomberg from 10 providers show. Holdings reached a record 2,114.6 tons in December.

--Editors: John Deane, Dan Weeks