For the ninth straight year, the yellow metal will have increased in value as investors keep on buying, motivated by a widely held fear of impending inflation and a belief that the
, anxious to nurse a delicate economic recovery, will leave interest rates at historically low levels for as long as it can.
In mild pre-holiday trading New Year's Eve, U.S. equities declined slightly, while the
was slipping 0.04%. Gold, meanwhile, ended a two-day losing streak, bouncing $3.40 to $1,095.90 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold bulls will look back on 2009 as the year in which the entire world appeared to become bullish on bullion -- which reached $1,227.50 an ounce, a record, on Dec. 3, the same day the U.S. dollar, as measured against a basket of currencies, fell to its lowest point since the heart of the financial crisis in the fall of 2008.
On Thursday, gold delivery for February, the most actively traded contract, has moved as high as $1,107.60 an ounce and as low as $1,093.10.
were rising by about 5 cents to $16.85 an ounce, while copper was up less than a penny to $3.35.
Mining stocks, a more leveraged way to
, were mostly higher Thursday.
shares led the advancers, rising 1.8%.
was up 1.3% and
was gaining 0.8%.
Among the few decliners,
stock was down three cents to $47.56, while
was losing two pennies to $80.86.
The popular physically backed ETF,
SPDR Gold Shares
was gaining 45 cents to $107.38.
Market Vectors Gold Miners
Market Vectors Juniors
were trading higher by 1% each, at $46.35 and $25.79.
-- Written by Scott Eden in New York
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Scott Eden has covered business -- both large and small -- for more than a decade. Prior to joining TheStreet.com, he worked as a features reporter for Dealmaker and Trader Monthly magazines. Before that, he wrote for the Chicago Reader, that city's weekly paper. Early in his career, he was a staff reporter at the Dow Jones News Service. His reporting has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Men's Journal, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, and the Believer magazine, among other publications. He's also the author of Touchdown Jesus (Simon & Schuster, 2005), a nonfiction book about Notre Dame football fans and the business and politics of big-time college sports. He has degrees from Notre Dame and Washington University in St. Louis.