Friday, July 22, 2011

Asian investors stricken by gold fever on record price

Gold fever is gripping Asian investors and could spread to central banks as global growth uncertainties tarnish the appeal of other assets, putting bullion on course for more gains but also provoking fears about supply.

Spot gold surged more than $100 in 11 straight days to Tuesday, its longest winning streak in four decades, hitting a record $1,609.51 an ounce, as debt default fears in the United States and Europe drove investors to seek safety.

Gold stayed above $1,600 on Thursday as market watchers remained cautious about the debt situation on both sides of the Atlantic.

Asian giants India and China, the world's two biggest consumers of the precious metal, expect to see demand continue to climb for the rest of the year, as growing wealth and stubbornly high inflation make bullion an attractive asset.

"Record high prices won't scare away investors," said Shi Heqing, an analyst at Antaike, a state-backed metals consultancy based in Beijing. (more)