Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Gold Tops $1,500 an Ounce in 'Flight to Quality'

PARIS — Investor concerns about global inflation, government debt and turmoil in the Middle East converged Wednesday to push the price of gold above $1,500 an ounce for the first time.

Other precious metals also rose, benefiting from what analysts call a "flight to quality." That is when uncertainty about the economic and political outlook pulls investors into those assets perceived to be safest.

The list of factors that have supported the price of precious metals in recent weeks is long. It includes worries about the sustainability of European debt levels — and whether countries like Greece will soon default; the threat of a possible downgrade of U.S. credit ratings amid an impasse over raising the debt limit and dealing with the budget deficit; the weaker dollar; rising inflation in many parts of the world and continued unrest in North Africa and the Middle East, which has pushed up oil prices.


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