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Gold Prices Pop on Global Uncertainty

NEW YORK ( TheStreet ) -- Gold prices popped Friday as the metal shrugged off China's latest attempt to curb inflation and focused on the G7's decision to intervene in the currency markets.

Gold for April delivery added $11.90 to settle at $1,416.10 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price rallied 1.4% Friday as high as $1,424.10 an ounce and as low as $1,402.20. The spot gold price was rising $13, according to Kitco's gold index.

Silver prices settled up 80 cents to $35.05 an ounce.



"We have to broaden [gold's] range," says Jon Nadler, senior analyst at Kitco.com. "Over the last week, I think a lot of rulebooks and assumptions will have to be rewritten ... the range we can expect here ... is probably between $1,380 and about $1,430." Gold is relatively flat from Monday but had to contend with a double digit painful selloff Tuesday.

Investors were rushing into gold Friday as protection against a volatile currency market after the G7 said it would step in the help Japan put a lid on its rising yen. On Wednesday evening after 5 p.m EDT, the currency rallied 4.6% against the dollar in minutes to just below the 82 level. This is the first group effort to help a currency in 11 years. The last time was in 2000 when the group helped stem a euro plummet.



Reportedly Japan has bought more than $20 billion U.S. dollars and is also selling yen. Other countries like the U.S. are actively supporting this move. The yen was falling 2.54% against the dollar.

Japan has offered up almost $800 billion to shore up its economy in the past week and expanded its bond buying program to 10 trillion yen. The efforts should have dragged on the yen, but it didn't. Speculators who had been betting the yen would fall had to buy it back to cover their bets, and companies and individuals are rumored to have been selling other assets for yen as well.

Any sort of whisper of currency intervention typically gives gold a boost as it reminds investors that paper currencies are at the mercy of central banks and highlights gold's appeal as a safer place to store wealth. The currency market can also be very volatile which also makes gold, a hard asset, more appealing.
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