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South Africa’s gold market is glistening

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Scott Jagow: Still, $832 an ounce. Gold is close to its all-time high of 850 bucks. People in South Africa are very excited about this. South Africa is the world’s leading gold producer. Gretchen Wilson sent us this report from Johannesburg.


Gretchen Wilson: Gold has become an attractive investment hedge as the dollar hits record lows against the euro and plunges against other major currencies. Besides the weak dollar, the precious metal’s been bolstered by supply and demand and general geopolitical uncertainty.

Climbing oil prices also spark fears about inflation — and send investors into gold, which is considered a safe haven.

It’s all sent the gold price up 32 percent this year alone. Bullish analysts say the price could reach $900 an ounce in the next few days. That is good news for South Africa’s gold industry, and firms are now planning mine expansions they never dreamed of in the past.

Gold’s not the only South African metal on the rise. Platinum hit a new high of around $1,500 an ounce. Of course, these prices are pushing Africa’s gold and platinum stocks higher on the local stock exchange.

In Johannesburg, I’m Gretchen Wilson for Marketplace.

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