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NEW YORK (
TheStreet) -- Investors' fears of another stock decline are stoking gold fever. The spot price of gold broke hit $997.80 an ounce on Thursday, the highest level since February.
Gold has risen 4.6% in the past week. Silver added $1.81 to $16.12 for a one-week surge of 13%. For the week ending Thursday, the average precious metals fund we track popped 7.6%.
The best-performing precious metals fund this week is the
ProShares Ultra Silver(AGQ), which tracks the U.S. price of silver in London with 200% leverage. This exchange traded fund skyrocketed 27%.
Precious Metals UltraSector ProFund(PMPIX), a mutual fund, was the No. 2 fund with a 16% gain. The fund tracks the
Dow Jones Precious Metals Index with 150% leverage. It benefited from large holdings of
Barrick Gold(ABX - Get Report),
Goldcorp(GG - Get Report),
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold(FCX - Get Report) and
Newmont Mining(NEM - Get Report).
If you prefer unleveraged funds, take a look at the
Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF(GDX), which tracks the
Amex Gold Miners Index. The index's top performers of the past week included
Vista Gold(VGZ), up 31%;
IAMGOLD(IAG - Get Report), up 22%;
Golden Star Resources(GSS), up 21%; and
Northgate Minerals(NXG) up 19%.
Best Performing Precious Metals Funds for the Week Ending Thursday Sept. 3
U.S. Dollar Index, which is down this year, has another 10% left to fall to keep pace with 2008 lows. Efforts to stimulate the economy are contributing to a weak dollar versus the euro, a trend that would help sustain gold's long-term rise.
The U.S. economy lost another 216,000 jobs in August, boosting the unemployment rate to a 26-year high of 9.7%, the Labor Department said today. That means stimulus efforts are likely to continue, and a new low for the dollar may trigger the spot price of gold to blast past the March 21, 2008, high of $1032.70.