Gold tops $1,300 US an ounce
Silver hits 30-year high
The December futures contract for bullion surged as high as $1,301.30 US an ounce in morning trading in New York. It later slipped back to settle at $1,298.10 US.
Gold got a boost after France reported better-than-expected GDP figures, strengthening the euro and tamping down the U.S. dollar. Gold is priced in U.S. dollars, so a weaker American currency makes it cheaper for those outside the U.S. to buy gold.
It was the fourth day of record gold prices this week. Bullion prices, which have risen 18 per cent this year, have recorded gains for 10 straight years. That's the longest winning streak since 1920, Bloomberg reported.
Investors and speculators have been flocking to gold as an alternative to paper currencies amid growing worries about the health of the global economy.
"Gold has started to trade as another currency," Scotia Capital currency strategist Camilla Sutton told CBC News. "We've seen that noticeably in the last few weeks, but it's been an underlying theme all year."
Silver hit a new 30-year high on Friday. It settled at $21.40 US an ounce — its highest level since the Hunt brothers of Texas tried to corner the silver market in 1980. At that time, silver prices hit $50 US an ounce.
Silver prices are up 27 per cent year-to-date, outperforming gold.