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Gold hits new record, US stocks slip

Gold hits new record, US stocks slip
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First Published: Fri, Aug 19 2011. 09 25 PM IST
Updated: Fri, Aug 19 2011. 09 25 PM IST
New York: Gold set a record high on Friday on safe-haven buying but US stocks and commodities rebounded after the US dollar plunged to a record low against the Japanese yen on speculation authorities will not halt the yen’s surge.
US stocks, after paring early losses, turned lower, as crude oil and other commodities rebounded on the dollar’s slump.
The dollar fell as low as ¥75.941 on trading platform EBS. It last traded at ¥76.245, down 0.4%.
Traders were emboldened by a Wall Street Journal report citing Japan’s top currency official as saying that Japanese authorities do not plan to intervene in the market often.
The dollar’s slump galvanized commodity markets, where crude oil prices rose almost 2%. ICE Brent October crude rose $1.93 to $108.92 a barrel.
The turn in commodity prices lifted material and energy stocks, and helped turn Wall Street.
“Commodities are trading well with the weakness in the dollar,” said Peter Bookvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co in New York. “The euro rallied to the high of the day and some bottom-pickers from yesterday’s sell-off have us higher.”
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 76.59 points, or 0.70%, at 10,913.99. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 5.74 points, or 0.50%, at 1,134.91. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 2.89 points, or 0.12%, at 2,377.54.
Gold prices early in the session rallied almost 3% as investors sought refuge from hefty losses in stocks on Thursday. Gold retraced earlier record highs as European shares lifted from lows and the euro recovered some lost ground.
Spot gold jumped to record $1,877 an ounce and was last trading near $1,850, still on track for its biggest one-month rise in nearly 12 years in August.
“Any time in the current environment you just need a little positive news (for the gold) market to retrace quite a bit, before stabilizing and resuming its uptrend,” said Credit Suisse analyst Tobias Merath. “There is clearly a stable uptrend over many, many months.”
European shares flirted with two-year lows, but the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares pared some losses to trade 1.1% lower. MSCI’s all-country world stock index was off 0.7%.
US Treasury yields inched up from lows last seen in at least 60 years on as some investors took profits from Thursday’s bond rally.
The benchmark 10-year US Treasury note was down 2/32 in price to yield 2.07%. The yield at one point on Thursday fell to 1.97%.
Yields have dropped almost a full percentage point on the 10-year note in August as disappointing economic data, the Federal Reserve’s low interest rate policy and jitters over rising bank funding costs drove investors to safe-haven bonds.
“At the moment the market is just looking for relative safe havens,” said Mitsui Precious Metals analyst David Jollie. “You can see that in the sell-offs across equity markets overnight. The strength of gold is the other side of the coin from that.”
The US dollar index slipped 0.6% to 73.827. The euro was up 0.6% at $1.441.
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First Published: Fri, Aug 19 2011. 09 25 PM IST
More Topics: US Markets | Gold | Stocks | Dollar | Money Matters |