Copper hits new high as gold and silver soar

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The Independent Online

Gold and silver hit highs last seen in 1980 yesterday while other metals, such as copper, platinum and zinc, stormed to record levels, fuelled by speculative buying amid persistent geopolitical and economic concerns. The latest moves triggered fears the markets could crash.

In London, the spot price of gold reached $726 an ounce, the highest since September 1980. Seen as a safe haven in times of mounting inflation fears and political uncertainty, bullion has rocketed nearly 40 per cent this year. The price has steadily increased to hit $500 an ounce last November and took another five months to break though $600, but recently sprinted to exceed $700 in less than a month. Some say gold could go all the way to its all-time high of $850 reached in January 1980, before coming down again.

Investors have piled into precious metals in the face of growing global tensions, triggered by the stand-off between the US and Iran over its nuclear programme, high oil prices and dollar weakness.

Silver prices broke through the $15 an ounce mark for the first time since December 1980, reaching $15.17. Platinum climbed to a record high of $1,287.50 per ounce. Copper, aluminium, zinc and nickel also hit new highs. The price of oil traded near $73.50 per barrel and seemed to be heading towards last month's record high of $75.35.