GOLD 0.51% $1,391.7 gold futures


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    From Tribune news services
    Published April 28, 2002

    Gold prices have vaulted to their highest levels since 2000 and could go still higher, metals analysts said Friday.

    Spot gold prices hit a 26-month high of $310.80 a troy ounce in London, and benchmark gold for June delivery rose to $312.50 an ounce at the New York Mercantile Exchange, its highest level since July 18, 2000, before closing up $3.50, at $312.10.

    Now the talk is for a move to $325 an ounce--and beyond.

    "It's a classic uptrend . . . $325 to $327 is in prospect over the next several weeks," said Ross Norman, analyst at

    Gold last hit $325 an ounce in October 1999.

    Dealers said speculators and money managers were diversifying into gold as insurance against a weakening dollar, jittery stock markets and a rise in oil prices.

    But many analysts say the biggest factor is the decision by the world's leading miners to reduce the amount of unmined nuggets they sell into forward markets, called hedging.

    "Rather than falling quickly after a spike higher, as has been the case over the past few years, the metal has shown remarkable resilience this year," said John Reade, precious metals analyst at UBS Warburg.

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