Gold price rose toward $1,600 per ounce

The gold price rose toward $1,600 per ounce, rising as high as $1,594 early Thursday morning, western time. The price of gold is on pace to rise for the ninth consecutive trading session on the back of a surge in investment demand for gold bullion, gold exchange-traded funds, and futures contracts tied to the gold price.

This morning’s news on inflation was a mixed bag and gold prices showed a muted response to the data. The June Producer Price Index (PPI) fell 0.4% month over month against market expectations of a 0.2% drop. Versus the previous year the PPI rose 7.0%, while the core – excluding food and energy – climbed 2.4%. Speculation over the possibility of a new round of quantitative easing from the Federal Reserve has helped send the gold price to a series of new highs, however, rising price pressures are likely to prevent QE3 from being implemented in the near term.

“The possibility remains that the recent economic weakness may prove more persistent than expected and that deflationary risks might reemerge, implying a need for additional policy support,” according to the Fed Chairman. “The Federal Reserve remains prepared to respond should economic developments indicate that an adjustment of monetary policy would be appropriate.”

Bernanke’s comments, which fueled further QE3 speculation, coincided quite closely with the time at which the gold price surpassed its previous record high of $1,577.40 per ounce. Later, as Congressman Ron Paul asked “Helicopter Ben” if he monitors the price of gold, the yellow metal reached its latest all-time high. The Fed Chairman acknowledged that he did, and noted that he thinks the gold price “reflects a lot of things. It reflects global uncertainties. The reason people hold gold is its protection against what we call tail risk.”


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