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Gold Up, European Markets Flat at Close

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Gold once again flirted with $1,300 on Thursday, as fears over currency weakness drove investors’ hunger for precious metals. Silver too hit a 2 1/2 year high, closing at $21.21 per ounce; that’s within pennies of its record high in 1980.

Andrey Krychenkov, an analyst at VTB Capital, said in a Reuters report, “All the technical indicators are flashing completely overbought, but that doesn’t mean anything when you’re in an uptrend.” He anticipated a “stall” when gold hits $1,300, but does not expect it to last.

Meanwhile, world stocks ended down on Thursday, but close to previous positions; oil was up and so were prices on U.S. and German government securities. And in another Reuters report, growth rates in Europe’s services and manufacturing sectors slowed more than expected as firms hired fewer new workers, indicating a loss of momentum in the region’s economy.

London’s FTSE 100 index was slightly down 0.1% to 5,5089.39; Germany’s DAX was down 0.3% to 6,186.50 and France’s CAC-40 was down 0.1% to 3,716.97.

A higher-than-expected jobless report in the U.S. and a drop in the euro versus the dollar added to the general woes, as concern over the Irish banking sector continued. Ireland’s GDP fell 1.2% when a rise of 0.5% had been expected.

German bund futures saw their highest levels in two weeks as that nation cut its planned debt issuance for the fourth quarter.