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Gold Prices Flirt With New Highs

NEW YORK ( TheStreet ) -- Gold prices were mixed Wednesday as investors wavered between gold and stocks amid persistent European sovereign debt fears and a weaker U.S. dollar.

Gold for December delivery settled down $1.80 to $1,257.50 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price Wednesday has traded as high as $1,264.70 and as low as $1,254.60. The U.S. dollar index was losing 0.41% to $82.55, while the euro was rising to $1.27, and the yen hit another 15-year high vs. the dollar. The spot gold price Wednesday was adding 60 cents, according to Kitco's gold index.

Gold prices settled at a record high Tuesday and early Wednesday broke through their intraday high of $1,264 an ounce. Investors were turning to gold as a safe-haven asset amid a struggling Asian stock market and worries that eurozone banks' exposure to sovereign debt is worse than expected.

The Japanese yen hit another 15-year high against the dollar , which crimped export demand in a country trying to work its way out of a multiyear deflation. European markets were also struggling as more banks might be forced to raise capital after it was revealed they had more exposure to struggling eurozone economies than previously reported.

Yields for Portuguese, Irish and Greek bonds rose as governments had to sweeten the pot to entice investors to lend money to the countries. According to BBH FX Strategy, Greece is paying the most since before its May bailout package.

The slew of negative news painted a rough picture overseas, but investors vacillated between the safety of gold and the risk of stocks after a successful Portuguese bond auction. Gold prices also got hit with some profit taking as investors took advantage of record highs to make money.

"People are just really going after the physical metal," says James Turk, founder of, a bullion dealer, who attributes gold's recent rally to supply and demand constraints.

The World Gold Council said in its second-quarter Gold Demand Trends report that the supply of gold grew 17% from a year earlier while gold demand grew 36%. Turk is looking for $1,800 to $2,000 gold this year. Based on these prices, he doesn't believe it's too late to dollar-cost average and buy gold every quarter.

Silver prices settled 9 cents higher at $20 while copper closed up 3 cents to $3.50. Jim Cramer just told me on a video for TheStreet that silver might make an interesting investment after October, but that for the fall he was betting on gold.

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Gold mining stocks, a risky but potentially profitable way to buy gold, were mixed. Kinross Gold (KGC) was down 0.26% to $17.10 while Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX) was adding 1.74% to $79.60. Other gold stocks Gold Fields (GFI) and New Gold (NGD) were trading at $14.81 and $6.38, respectively.

-- Written by Alix Steel in New York.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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