Even as worries about the U.S.economy, European debt, the rising price of oil and unrest in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region drove the price of gold higher, world stocks reached their highest levels in 33 months. Thursday's contradictory market news showed that even while investors hedged against trouble with the purchase of precious metals, they also sought returns on riskier assets.
Reuters reported that gold set a new record on Thursday in early trading, peaking at $1,508.50 per ounce; then it was bid at $1,507.19 against a New York close on Wednesday of $1,498.15. June U.S. gold futures gained $9.40 per ounce, coming in at $1,508.30. Silver followed right along, bid at $45.92 per ounce against $45.20 and showing a 49% gain for the year so far. The gold:silver ratio dropped again on Thursday as well, hitting a 28-year low of 32.9.
Meanwhile, earnings drove acquisitions of equities and pushed investors back into the arms of stocks, with the FTSEurofirst 300 Index of top European shares gaining 0.3% and the MSCI All-Country World Index gaining 0.7% to hit 350.34, a level it hasn’t seen since July of 2008.