Gold Prices Surge Past $1,200

Gold prices were rising Wednesday as investors continued to favor the precious metal as a hedge against riskier assets.
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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Gold prices

were rising Wednesday as jittery investors continued to buy gold as a safe haven asset to battle global economic uncertainty.

Gold delivery for June was rising $15.40 to $1,213.40 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price today has traded as high as $1,216.90 and as low as $1,201. The

U.S. dollar index

was rising 0.75% to $87 while the euro was falling 1.14% to $1.22 against the dollar after hitting a new eight-year low on Tuesday. The spot gold price Wednesday was adding over $11, according to Kitco's gold index.

Gold prices managed to break and hold the $1,200

area after the metal held up during Tuesday's options expiration. Typically, investors are forced to sell or cover some short positions on options expiration, which leads to more downside and volatility in gold prices. However, gold prices settled at $1,198 after briefly touching $1,200 on strong investor demand, which set the stage for the next leg higher for prices.

Now the question for investors is if this gold rally is déjà vu or if the metal will be able to break its old high of $1,249 an ounce. The

U.S. dollar is curbing some of its recent gains

which is helping support higher gold prices in the short term. Profit taking could keep gold prices volatile as investors might need to sell gold to raise cash to cover losses in the short-term.

Although markets seem calm, analysts expect investors to continue to hedge their riskier investments with the safety of gold over the long term. There was no eurozone drama overnight, and many experts seem reassured that China will continue expanding despite previous efforts to curb spending.

Federal Reserve

Chairman Ben Bernanke also said at a seminar hosted by Bank of Japan that U.S. inflation expectations are "very stable."

South and North Korean governments pledged to hold conversations to reduce tensions in the region, but political unrest and global financial uncertainty are expected to increase gold's appeal as a safe haven asset and as a form of money that retains value.

The World Gold Council released its first-quarter Gold Demand Trends report in which it expects gold demand to stay strong during 2010. According to the report, gold prices will be led higher by increasing investment demand and improving jewelry demand from China and India. Price-sensitive Asian countries, especially India, had previously shied away from gold as prices rose. Total identifiable gold demand was down 25% in the first quarter, but consumer demand in India surged 698% to 193.5 tons while demand rose 11% in China.

Aram Shishmanian, CEO of the World Gold Council says, "with the global economic recovery still burdened by high and rising debt levels in Western economies, as well as the renewed threat of recession driving down the US dollar and equities, the outlook for gold as a liquid, reliable asset class and as a store of wealth remains highly favorable."

Silver prices

were rising 49 cents to $18.28 while copper was adding 4 cents to $3.09. The industrial metals had been beaten down on fears that China will curb its growth too much, and decreased spending in Europe would wreck demand for silver and copper. These fears have abated somewhat, especially after a

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

metals analyst said

metal stocks offer good value

as the recent selloff presented good buying opportunities.

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

invest in gold

, were mixed.

Barrick Gold

(ABX)

was trading slightly higher at $42.48 while

Newmont Mining

(NEM) - Get Report

was adding 0.90% at $54.02 after the stock was added to the short-term buy list at

Deutsche Bank

.

Other large miners

Kinross Gold

(KGC) - Get Report

and

Goldcorp

(GG)

were trading at $17.11 and $43.16, respectively. Shares of

Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold

(FCX) - Get Report

were over 1% higher to $68.41.

The gold ETF,

SPDR Gold Trust

(GLD) - Get Report

was rising 1.13% to $118.69. The ETF added over 20 tons of gold on Tuesday as investors rushed into gold after prices sold off in early trading.

--

Written by Alix Steel in New York

.

Alix joined TheStreet.com 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.