Support Marketplace

Gold reaches a record high

A pure 12.5-kg gold bar (top) and 1 kg gold bars produced by South Korean metal refiner LS-Nikko are displayed at an exhibition center in Goyang, northwest of Seoul.

There's a gold rush on Wall Street today.

Gold reached an all-time high Tuesday of $1,419.50 per ounce, as investors once again look for a safe bet for their money.

"In many ways, I almost see gold as a bit like being a financial teddy bear," said Justin Urquhart-Stewart, investment manager with Seven Investment Managers in London. "You can cuddle it. You can hold it. You can put it on your pillow next to you."

Investors are buying gold because of concerns about the global economy, especially following the Federal Reserve's decision last week to buy $600 billion in long term bonds.

Their worry is twofold. First, there's the chance that European governments may not be able to raise the money they need, which could weaken the price of the Euro. Second, there's the risk that the Fed's plan to inject new money into the U.S. economy could lead to inflation and lower the value of the dollar.

Therein lies the golden rule: When the dollar falls, the price of gold goes up.

Gold has become "an alternative money," Juli Niemann, an analyst with Smith, Moore and Co., said in a Tuesday interview with Marketplace Morning Report host Jeremy Hobson.

"Nation's can't manipulate it like they can their currencies," Niemann said. "And nations are trying to cheapen or devalue their own currency so consumers can afford to buy more of what they make and export."

World Bank president, Robert Zoellick, on Monday called for leading nations to look at a modified global gold standard, which also may have contributed to the record high.

Some observers say investors are also reacting to Thursday's G20 summit in Seoul. There are questions about whether summit leaders will calm the global economic angst and its ripple effect it has on individual currencies and global trade.

"There is a lot of uncertainty ahead of the G20 meeting. If there are no surprises we may see a correction afterwards," said David Wilson, analyst at Societe Generale. "Gold is using any excuse to go higher."

Marketplace reporter Alisa Roth contributed to this report.

Reuters Wire Service contributed to this report.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...