Prices to Buy Gold rose again in London trade on Tuesday, hitting fresh all-time highs against both the US Dollar and British Pound following yesterday's "negative watch" announcement on US government debt from the S&P ratings agency – a "shot heard round the world" according to one London bullion dealer.
Asian stock markets closed Tuesday lower, but European equities rose.
US Treasury bond prices actually rose after S&P forecast "at least" a 1-in-3 chance it will downgrade the United States' long-term debt from AAA status by 2013, unless Washington cuts its deficit spending.
The Dollar knocked the Euro currency almost 4¢ lower as "peripheral Europe" government debt fell yet again.
"You really have to wonder how anyone can write with a straight face that this warning caused other market movements," says Princeton professor and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman of the S&P announcement.
"A significant push toward fiscal austerity would lead to lower growth," replies Jan Hatzius at investment bank Goldman Sachs, "and lower growth would lead to easier monetary policy for longer."
"Gold is re-asserting itself as an alternative currency," London-based mining-fund manager Evy Hambro of Blackrock was quoted by Bloomberg TV this morning.
"On a 3-to-5 year period," said Hambro, noting the key drivers for investors to Buy Gold, "the underlying trends are all very supportive of today's pricing and higher."
The Gold Price in Euros also held onto Monday's sharp gains today, trading near to last night's 14-week highs at €33,800 per kilo – less than 1% below Dec. 2010's all-time high.
UK investors looking to Buy Gold saw the price touch £920 per ounce, a new all-time high.
"We see some selling interest today on profit-taking, but not in large volume," a dealer told Reuters overnight in Hong Kong, where premium to Buy Gold bars ticked up to $1.50 per ounce above London's benchmark pricing.
"There is so much news that is in favour of gold," the newswire quotes a Singapore dealer.
"Gold is still the safe-haven of choice."
In Tokyo today, fiscal-policy chief Yosano and finance minister Noda of Japan – the world's second-largest holder of US government debt after China – both called US Treasury bonds "attractive".
"This is a timely reminder of the seriousness of America's fiscal issues, for the country and for the rest of the world," says bond-giant Pimco's chief investment officer Mohamed El-Erian.
As Helsinki today moved to form a new government including the "no bail outs" True Finns party, which won almost one-fifth of the votes in Sunday's Finnish election, Portugal's 10-year bond yield today rose above 9.0%, worsening the pressure for a swift IMF-Eurozone rescue.
"Spain, Italy and Belgium had been shielded from the events in Greece, Ireland and Portugal for a long time," said Christoph Rieger, fixed-income strategist at Commerzbank, to Bloomberg TV this morning.
"But with risk events culminating over the last few days, and also [new debt auction] supply lined up for later this week, we're seeing increasing contagion [in their] bonds."
Silver Prices meantime held firm but failed to set a new 31-year Dollar high for the first session in four on Tuesday, trading just above $43 per ounce.
"[Selling silver short] natural with these giddy prices," one London trader told the Platts news service on Monday. "Speculators are going to have to take profits soon.
"Shorts have been burned in the run-up, but keep coming back for more," he said, forecasting a $10 drop in the Silver Price short term.
But "Gold and Silver Prices are likely to continue to climb higher in reaction to inflation concerns," retorts HSBC senior analyst James Steel, "buoyed by rising food and energy prices, renewed European Union sovereign risks, and disagreement among top policymakers as to how to cope with the global crisis."
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