Spurred on by unrest in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region, the prices of both gold and oil continued to climb on Wednesday, with the former setting its second consecutive record and the latter hitting a 2½-year high.
Reuters reported that gold, which entered record territory on Tuesday, was up 0.6% in midmorning European trading to $1,459.40 an ounce, having backed down from an all-time high of $1,460.40 earlier. The precious metal has gained over 5% in the past three weeks, with 2% of that in the past week alone. Silver leapfrogged ahead to hit a level it hasn’t seen in 31 years. Spot silver reached $39.50 an ounce, after an early rise of 0.8% to $39.54.
Oil was on the move as well, with Brent crude trading over $122 per barrel in morning trading and U.S.crude hitting $108.20 per barrel. These are levels it has not seen for 2½ years. Anticipation of an increase in interest rates from the European Central Bank (ECB) is contributing to oil’s rise; on Thursday the ECB is expected to act to rein in inflation, and the expectation has driven the euro to a 14-month high.