(Reuters) – Gold rose to a record high for a fourth straight day and silver surged on Friday, as a weaker dollar, the prospect of a U.S. government shutdown and inflation worries lifted precious metals in a broad commodities rally.
Gold was set for its biggest weekly gain in four months, drawing support from renewed euro zone sovereign debt fears amid Portugal’s financial crisis and inflation jitters as crude oil and corn hit new highs this week.
Bullion broke above key resistance on technical charts and could target above $1,500 an ounce. The metal has risen more than 10 percent since late January when political unrest began to flare in the Middle East and North Africa.
“With the expected future inflation being higher in this low interest rate environment, investors are more inclined to have some contributions to commodities as an inflation hedge,” said Hakan Kaya, commodities portfolio manager at Neuberger Berman, which manages about $190 billion client assets.
Spot gold rose as high as $1,474.19 an ounce and was later up 1 percent at $1,472.20 an ounce by 12:36 a.m. EDT. Bullion was on track to rise 2.5 percent this week for a fourth straight weekly gain. U.S. gold futures for June delivery gained 1 percent to $1,473.60.
Gold remained far below its all-time inflation-adjusted high, estimated at almost $2,500 an ounce set in 1980 as a result of heightened geopolitical pressure and hyperinflation. (Graphic: r.reuters.com/ren88r )
U.S. futures activity was sharply below average for a second consecutive day, but analysts said low volume is not detrimental to the bull run after a strong price rally.
Silver rose 2.3 percent to $40.42 an ounce, just off the session high of $40.49.
The gold-to-silver ratio — the number of silver ounces needed to buy an ounce of gold — fell to a 28-year low near 36 on Friday.
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