After Sunday night’s gold carnage, physical buyers are emerging in Asia and North America providing a bit of cushion for the metal but causing the doubling of premiums paid on physical gold. Gold prices ended the U.S. day session lower Wednesday, with prices nearing Monday’s five-year low. Kitco’s spot gold price was last down $11.40 at $1,092.00 an ounce - off nearly 5% from a week ago. Gold peaked at $1,900 an ounce back in August 2011, but has tumbled on the back of a stronger U.S. dollar and expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise rates this year. '[I]t is relevant that physical demand is now surging not only in the Far East but also in North America,' said Peter Hug, the global trading director at Kitco Metals. 'Silver products continue to be in short supply and now word has come that some of the more popular gold products, most notably the Canadian Maple Leaf, is in limited supply,' he told Kitco News Wednesday. 'Canadian Gold Maple premiums on the retail level have increased approximately $10 per coin,' he said. With many of the European manufacturers closed or at limited production capacity until mid-August investment product is becoming difficult to source in North America, Hug explained.