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METALS STOCKS
Gold ends up, posts a weekly gain of more than $27
By Polya Lesova, MarketWatch
Last update: 4:12 p.m. EST Feb. 29, 2008

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Gold futures finished with gains Friday, having hit a record high of $978.50 an ounce overnight, as the metal continues to draw support from weakness in the U.S. dollar and rising investment flows into commodities.
Gold for April delivery ended up $7.50 at $975 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange after earlier surging to a record of $978.50.
Gold posted a weekly gain of $27.20 from last Friday's closing level of $947.80. The metal surged 5% in February and is up over 15% year-to-date.
With the U.S. dollar tumbling and inflation surging, gold continues to break record highs and many analysts believe that it might surpass the psychologically key $1,000 level before the end of March. Read full story.
"Investment demand for gold and the rest of the precious metals looks set to remain strong in the coming sessions as investors look to offset rising oil prices and continued dollar weakness," TheBullionDesk.com analyst James Moore said in a research note.


"Investment demand for gold and the rest of the precious metals looks set to remain strong."
— James Moore, TheBullionDesk.com

Gold's movements over the past 24 hours have pushed the metal back into overbought territory, but the scale of demand appears sufficient to propel gold to $1,000 an ounce, Moore said.
"Resistance at the psychological level is likely to be substantial, as investor profit-taking and producer selling emerges; however, as was seen at $850 an ounce, there could be some sizeable stops lurking just above the market, potentially propelling gold even higher," Moore said.

On the currency markets Friday, the dollar extended its decline against most of its major counterparts. The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, fell 0.8% to 73.70. The dollar earlier dropped to a three-year low against the yen. See Currencies.
Weakness in the U.S. dollar boosted gold's investment appeal. Gold, like many commodities, is denominated in dollars, and a lower U.S. currency makes it more affordable in other currencies.
"We see that gold has an exuberance not expected by most," said Julian Phillips, an analyst at GoldForecaster.com. "With such a rise in the last few weeks, we look outside the market to see the price drivers."
The dollar and oil "are the most obvious, but the prospects, almost confirmed now, are that one way out of the pressures the world faces is inflation and heavy [inflation] at that," he said. "Hence the exuberance."
Also on the Nymex, March silver gained 18 cents to end at $19.81 an ounce, and April platinum surged $25.90 to finish at $2,180.70 an ounce.

March palladium dropped $13.30 to $571.95 an ounce, and March copper ended down 1 cent at $3.85 a pound.
Elsewhere on the commodity markets, crude-oil futures closed modestly lower after hitting a record high above $103 a barrel. See Futures Movers.
Inventories
Gold warehouse inventories rose by 59,813 troy ounces to stand at 7.4 million troy ounces as of Thursday, according to Nymex data. Silver stockpiles rose by 113,127 troy ounces to stand at 134.9 million troy ounces, while copper supplies fell by 203 short tons to 13,101 short tons.

The Amex Gold Bugs Index (HUI: 486.07, -11.98, -2.4%) fell 2.4% to 486.07 points.
As for the sector's exchange-traded funds, the StreetTracks Gold Trust ETF (GLD: 96.18, +0.19, +0.2%) edged up 0.2% to $96.18, the iShares Silver Trust ETF (SLV: 196.68, +0.02, +0.0%) was virtually unchanged at $196.68 and the Market Vectors-Gold Miners ETF (GDX: 53.12, -1.26, -2.3%) dropped 2.5% to $53.05.

MarketWatch


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