Many investors had been wondering if oil's recent rise over $100 a barrel would prompt the Fed to tighten the money supply to cool inflation. Bernanke's adherence to low rates, however, was a green light for precious metal traders who bought gold and silver as protection against a weaker dollar. Unrest and violence in the Middle East showed no sign of slowing down as government troops in Libya regained control over a city in the mostly rebel-held Eastern half of the country. The worries that unrest could spread to bigger oil producers like Iran and Saudi Arabia were also keeping gold's safe haven identity alive.
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