KITCO NEWS - Unprecedented investor demand for gold has driven ratios and spreads in the precious metals market to multi-year highs. The CME Group is hoping to capitalize on this new interest with three new futures products it launched Monday-- making them the first-ever, exchange-traded precious metals spread and ratio futures contracts on the market. "The timing has to do with the gold (GLD) and platinum spread, which has had so much volatility - that motion is not easy to capture," says Miguel Vias, head of precious metals for the CME Group. "No one has done it before because no one else can do it," Vias added. The CME launched gold/silver ratio future contracts, gold/platinum spread futures and platinum/palladium spread futures. "These three new futures contracts will eliminate a great deal of complexity involved in price ratio and spread trading of precious metals and provide a broader subset of market participants the tools to offset macroeconomic risk," Vias explained. According to Kitco.com, the gold/silver ratio was last at around 71. While the ratio is down over 10 points from its recent highs, it is still holding at its highest level in more than 5 years. Analysts have been bullish on silver (SLV) because the ratio has spent most of the year trading well above historical averages, which is around 50.