|Adrian Moser – Bloomberg image|
Yi Tian and Pham-Duy Nguyen
Gold futures jumped to a record $1,429.40 an ounce on concern the U.S. will pump more cash into the economy and Europe’s debt woes will spread, boosting the appeal of the metal as an alternative to currencies.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the central bank may boost Treasury purchases. European officials were split on containing the sovereign-debt crisis. Gold priced in euros and U.K. pounds also rose to records, and silver futures extended a rally to a 30-year high.
“Fundamentals are very much bullish for gold,” said Frank Lesh, a trader at Futurepath Trading in Chicago. “The continuing European debt crisis is on traders’ mind, and that creates the flight-to-safety quality in gold.”
Gold futures for February delivery reached the all-time high in after-hours trading after closing up $9.90, or 0.7 percent, to $1,416.10 at 2:14 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The previous intraday record was $1,424.30 on Nov. 9. The metal was up $18.30, or 1.3 percent, to $1,424.50 at 4:43 p.m., compared with the settlement on Dec. 3.