Gold Prices Break $1,200. Now What?

Gold prices were volatile Friday as profit-takers and bargain-hunters battled for control of the precious metal.
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Gold prices

Friday were rising after skyrocketing past the $1,200 level as Greece riots, trading errors, euro instability and safe-haven buying supported the gold price.

How to Invest in High Gold Prices

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Gold for June delivery was up $13.90 to $1,211.20 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold prices Friday have traded as high as $1,214.90 and as low as $1,193. The

U.S. dollar index

was slipping 0.25% to $84.68 while the

euro was rallying

off its one-year lows adding 0.35% to $1.27 against the dollar. The spot gold price was up 20 cents, according to Kitco's gold index, as investors took profits and sold the physical metal for cash.

Gold prices finally broke through $1,200

an ounce on Thursday as the Greece riots, which were televised, spooked investors. European Union nations were voting on their portions of the 110 billion euro bailout for the country, with most people focusing on Germany, which is responsible for almost $29 billion. Thus far the German Upper House has approved the financial aid package. Worries still remain, however, that the Greece turmoil could infect other debt-laden EU countries like Spain and Portugal.


European Central Bank kept

interest rates unchanged at 1%, but did not take further steps to help Greece. Many analysts were hoping the ECB would buy Greece bonds in order to loan the country additional money. Although the euro is staging a mini-rally Friday, most analysts expect the currency to come under prolonged pressure as the debt situation worsens. Gold and the U.S. dollar will benefit from a weak euro as investors buy the typically safer forms of money. Gold prices were selling off slightly on Friday as investors took profits after

prices popped 1.8% Thursday


Markets stayed on edge after Thursday's steep selloff. The U.S. unemployment number rose to 9.9% in April despite adding over 200,000 jobs in the same month. With economic conditions still uncertain gold prices could move higher as investors seek the safety of gold as a form of money that retains its purchasing power. The battle between bargain-hunters and profit-takers though is expected to take center stage and contribute to gold's volatility. Currently, investors are favoring gold headed into the weekend.

More on Gold

Greek Gold: Collateral on Bailout Money?

"Holding pattern emerged after jobs report and some stability in the markets," says George Gero, vice president of global futures at RBC Capital Markets in his morning metals commentary. "Gold is holding upper level trading range of $1,150 support and $1,225 resistance." Although gold has emerged as one of the biggest safe-haven assets, Gero says that "in past major selling, all assets were sold down to raise cash."

Gold mining stocks, a more risky but more profitable way to

invest in gold

, were mixed.

Barrick Gold


was down 1.21% to $43.15 while

Newmont Mining

(NEM) - Get Report

was lower by 1.17% at $54.04. Other large gold miners

Kinross Gold

(KGC) - Get Report




were trading higher at $17.43 and $43.08, respectively.

Shares of


(IAG) - Get Report

were up 0.23% at $17.82 after the company said it earned 16 cents a share in the first quarter and expects to produce 940,000 to 1 million ounces of gold in 2010.

Randgold Resources

(GOLD) - Get Report

was slipping 0.27% to $84.02 after Thomas Weisel Partners downgraded the stock to market weight from overweight.

AngloGold Ashanti

(AU) - Get Report

was up 1.27% to $41.46 after beating expectations and reporting earnings of 17 cents a shares in the first quarter. AngloGold said it will produce between 4.5 million and 4.7 million ounces of gold in 2010.

Shares of the gold ETF,

SPDR Gold Shares

(GLD) - Get Report

were down 0.13% to $118.33. The popular ETF added almost 20 tons on Thursday as investors piled into the precious metal. One share of the GLD is equivalent to owning one tenth of an ounce of gold.


Written by Alix Steel in New York


Alix joined TV in February 2007. Previously, she held positions in film and theater production, management, and legal administration. Alix has a degree in communications and theater from Northwestern University.