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Gold, Silver Futures Hitting New Highs

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Gold futures hit a record for the third time this week, as investors sought safe havens, and silver futures rose to the highest closing price since 1980, reports Bloomberg.

Year to date, gold has gained 17%, and silver 24%.

Gold futures for December delivery moved up to $3.70, or 0.3%, to close at $1,277.50 an ounce at 1:45 p.m. on the Comex in New York; earlier in the day, the metal reached a record $1,284.40.

Silver futures for December delivery increased 4.5 cents, or 0.2%, to settle at $20.816 an ounce, the highest closing price for a most-active contract since Oct. 16, 1980, Bloomberg says. Earlier on Friday, the price reached a 30-month intraday high of $21.025.

George Soros told Reuters Wednesday that, despite setting records this week, gold prices may continue to rise. Still, he repeated a warning he originally issued at Davos in January: Gold is “the ultimate bubble.”

ABN Amro analysts noted this week that “some bearish sentiment is beginning to creep in,” reports Jon Nadler of Kitco Metals, a contributor to Futures.

“The London daily p.m. fix gold price averaged $1,194/oz in Q2 2010, while the average gold production cash cost was about $560/oz., resulting in a margin of over $600/oz.,” ABN Amro said in a report. “And since the start of 2008, gold has outperformed other major asset classes, appreciating by 49%, while equity markets and some other key commodities, notably oil, remain in negative territory over the same period. For the price to rally much further, the market may well require a large shock.”

The global holdings of gold by exchange-traded products (ETPs) reached a record 2,081.38 metric tons on September 1 and were little changed Thursday at 2,077.9 tons, according to data from 10 providers collected by Bloomberg.

The SPDR Gold Shares ETF (GLD) closed on Friday at $124.54, down 0.07% from Thursday on trading of 11.8 million shares. Its 52-week trading range is about $97-$125.

The iShares Silver Trust ETF (SLV) ended Friday at $20.29, down 0.30% from Thursday, as 11.15 million shares traded hands. Its 52-week trading range is roughly $14-$20.