Gold Jumps to Record High

Bullion climbs past $940 an ounce in after-market trading.
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The gold bugs got a gift of a new record high price after the

Federal Reserve

again lowered interest rates Wednesday.

Bullion contracts for April delivery were jumping $15.90 to $942.20 an ounce in recent after-market trading on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The floor session was closed by the time the Fed made the announcement that it would cut the cost of borrowing by half a percentage point to 3%, but that didn't stop investors from piling in to gold during the electronic trading period, a traditionally slower time in the trading day.

Although many observers had expected such a rate cut, the commentary accompanying the move spooked investors enough to jump into hard assets.

"The Fed is in a tight position," says Carlos Sanchez, an analyst at New York-based specialty research firm CPM Group.

The cut in interest rates still might not be enough to boost economic growth in the slowing U.S. economy. But at the same time the looser monetary policy might ignite inflation to an uncomfortable level, he explains.

Both low growth and higher inflation tend to make precious metals more appealing to long-term investors.

The exchange-traded funds that hold bars of pure gold,

streetTracks Gold Shares

(GLD) - Get Report


iShares Comex Gold Trust

(IAU) - Get Report

, were both ahead by around 1%.

Shares of

Newmont Mining

(NEM) - Get Report


Barrick Gold


were mixed.