Silver ETF expected to reach 100 million ounces in first month

Section:

Gold Futures Hit New 25-Year High

From CBSMarketWatch
Wednesday, May 3, 2006

http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Story.aspx?
column=Metals+Stocks&siteid=mktw&dist=

NEW YORK -- Gold futures hit a new 25-year high on Wednesday with
dollar weakness, oil strength and ongoing concerns about the U.S.
and Iran boosting the metal.

June-dated gold futures rose as high as $679 an ounce in early
electronic trade.

The contract was perched just below that, up $9.10 to $676.50 at
last check.

"Higher energy costs spurs inflation but gold is also regarded as
safe heaven in turbulent times," said analysts at Saxo Bank in a
note to clients.

The weaker U.S. dollar has also contributed to the current spike as
the gold contract is priced in dollars, and so has become somewhat
cheaper for non-U.S. investors.

The dollar was near a one-year low against the euro, while crude-oil
futures were trading close to $75 a barrel.

Peter Grandich, editor of The Grandich Letter, said gold is also
gaining as speculators, who had expected a correction from its
current lofty levels, rush to cover short positions.

"The least talked about reason for gold's dramatic rise is the past
shorting and manipulation of it by a group or groups who have been
desperately trying to cover," he said. "The gold 'cartel' is
imploding as we speak."

The metals sector is also being pushed higher by safe-haven buying,
driven by concerns about some of the world's trouble spots, notably
Iran which continues to defy United Nations attempts to pressure it
to halt its nuclear research.

U.S. Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns said he expects a
meeting of the U.N. Security Council and Germany next week to forge
a binding resolution on Iran that could allow for sanctions, the BBC
reported.

Burns made the comments after diplomatic talks in Paris yesterday to
discuss the Iranian issue.

On Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki said Russia
and China have told Iran they will veto any resolution that involves
sanctions or military action. That could create a rift between the
permanent Security Council members -- Russia, China, France, the
U.K. and the U.S.

Other metals also rallied in early trade. Silver was last up 13
cents at $14.34 an ounce, platinum rose $6.60 to $1,192 and
palladium was up $1.65 at $388 an ounce.

Copper dipped 1.7 cents to $3.26 a pound.

On the supply side, gold inventories were down 277,163 troy ounces
at 7.33 million troy ounces as of late Tuesday, according to data
from the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Silver was up 3,010 troy ounces at 123.7 million troy ounces and
copper was down 356 short tons at 16,318 short tons.

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