Both the gold and Silver Price jumped in Asian and London trade on Monday, breaking $1400 and $33.50 per ounce respectively on what a growing number of traders called "safe haven" buying amid fresh turmoil in Libya.
"A particularly ominous sign for the Dollar is that there's been no safe-haven demand for the [US currency]," says Steven Barrow, chief forex strategist at Standard Bank in London.
Africa's fourth largest crude oil producer – and the 8th largest producer in the Opec oil cartel – faces "civil war" according to four-decade dictator Colonel Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam, vowing on state TV yesterday to "fight to the last bullet" after the regime lost control of eastern Libya cities Benghazi and al-Bayda.
Europe's Brent crude-oil benchmark today rose above $105 per barrel, but broader commodity markets were unchanged as food and base metal prices fell.
The Silver Price rose $1.49 per ounce from Friday's London Fix – a gain of 4.7% to new 31-year highs, and silver's fifth largest one-day move of the last 30 years in Dollars and cents.
"The [precious] metals didn't really see any large scale selling" on Friday despite reaching 7-week and 31-year highs respectively, notes Swiss refiner MKS's finance division in Geneva.
"Long-liquidation from Asian traders was [also] scant and easily absorbed by the market" on Monday, says a Hong Kong dealer.
Although today marks a holiday for US traders, "trading volumes were higher than average," he adds, which "surely bode well for gold and silver."
Today's higher trading volumes were in fact the first strong pick-up in Asian wholesale activity since the Chinese New Year, a London dealer says.
Gold Prices rose 1% by lunchtime Monday, unwinding the last of 2011's near-7.5% drop for Dollar investors, hitting 6-week highs for Euro, Sterling, Yen, Aussie, Canadian and Swiss Franc buyers.
"Long-term gold trend-line support is seen at $1307," says the latest note from bullion bank Scotia Mocatta, pointing to the underlying move since Lehman Brothers collapsed in Sept. 2008.
"The market is starting to look towards the record high of $1430 against the backdrop of silver making fresh highs."
New data released after Friday's finish showed the "net long" position held by speculative traders in US Comex Gold Futures rising "for the second consecutive week on concerns on that the geopolitical situation in Egypt would have wider implications for the region as a whole," says the latest Precious Metals Weekly from London consultancy VM.
In Silver Investing, however, the "net long" position of bullish minus bearish bets held by speculative traders jumped by 9.5% in the week-ending last Tuesday, the VM Group reports – the largest 1-week rise in more than 5 months.
"The silver market is going crazy right now, a lot of people selling, a lot of big dealers buying it, melting it down," says Ray Smith, owner of RJ's Coin and Currency in Chittenango, central New York state, to local TV station WSYR.
"Some people have been basically what you call 'sitting' on the silver and they're seeing prices that they haven't seen in 30 years, so they feel it’s a good time to sell now."
The all-time Silver Price peaks above $50 per ounce in Jan. 1980 saw Christopher Weston, then chairman of London auctioneers Phillips, demand that "Silver melting should be halted...[because] many people were selling irreplaceable antique silver items...destroying the national heritage."
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