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NEW YORK (
) -- 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
, which tracks the U.S. price of silver in London with 200% leverage. This exchange traded fund skyrocketed 27%.
Precious Metals UltraSector ProFund
, 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
(ABX - Get Report)
(GG - Get Report)
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold
(FCX - Get Report)
(NEM - Get Report)
If you prefer unleveraged funds, take a look at the
Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF
, which tracks the
Amex Gold Miners Index
. The index's top performers of the past week included
, up 31%;
(IAG - Get Report)
, up 22%;
Golden Star Resources
, up 21%; and
|ProShares Ultra Silver (AGQ) U
|ProFunds Precious Metals UltraSector ProFund (PMPIX) E-
|PowerShares DB Silver Fund (DBS) D
|ETFS Silver Trust (SIVR) U
|Market Vectors - Gold Miners ETF (GDX) C-
|E-TRACS UBS Bloomberg CMCI Silver ETN (USV) D
|iShares Silver Trust (SLV) D
|American Century Global Gold Fund (BGEIX) C+
|OCM Mutual Fund - OCM Gold Fund (OCMGX) C+
|Midas Fund (MIDSX) E
Source:Bloomberg & TheStreet.com Ratings
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.