ECB Action Lifts Silver, Gold to New Heights

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On Thursday, the European Central Bank offered the latest reason to pile into precious metals by unleashing a bigger-than-expected bond-buying program amid continued worries about Europe’s economy. Gold futures ended above $1,300 a troy ounce for the first time since August, while silver neared bull-market territory, defined as a 20% increase from a recent low.

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Gold and silver are drawing buyers of all stripes, a sign fears about a worsening economic outlook run deep in financial markets. The metals are popular havens for nervous investors but had fallen out of favor after setting price records in 2011 as the US recovery gained speed. Now these metals are luring back some money managers, as collapsing oil prices, fears of a recession in Europe and volatility in currency markets shake their faith in stocks and other investments, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Both metals remain far below their peaks, and many investors are skeptical that economic conditions are dire enough to sustain recent gains. But others make the case that gold and silver look more promising than stocks, which are at or near record highs in many markets, or government bonds, where yields are near zero across the developed world.

Japanese silver saw the biggest upwards shift for the day, rising 1.6% to close at JPY 678.00 ($5.75) per 10 grams on Thursday, January 22. US silver gained 0.8% to finish at $18.11 per ounce. Chinese silver finished the day up 0.4% to CNY 3,780 ($608.53) per kilogram. Indian silver saw its price rise 0.1% to INR 40,481 ($657.67) per kilogram.

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After a 1.5% increase, Japanese gold bullion finished the day at JPY 4,919 ($41.74) per gram. The price of Chinese gold bullion declined 0.5% to CNY 258.55 ($41.62) per gram, after two days of improvement. Indian gold bullion prices saw a 0.3% decline to INR 28,075 ($456.12) per 10 grams. US gold bullion ended the day at $1,293 per ounce, after the 0.1% drop on Thursday.

Today marks the fifth day in a row of rising prices for Japanese platinum bar. After climbing 1.2%, prices settled at JPY 4,838 ($41.05) per gram, driving an accelerated improvement since Friday, January 16. The price of US platinum bar fell 0.6% to $1,269 per ounce. Chinese platinum bar stayed flat at around CNY 270.00 ($43.47) per gram.

Japanese palladium bar gained 1.6% to finish at JPY 2,992 ($25.39) per gram. The price of US palladium bar declined 1.2% to $765.00 per ounce. After improving for two days, the price of Chinese palladium bar declined 0.6% to CNY 173.00 ($27.85) per gram.

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