Are the wealth-haven benefits of physical metals gaining recognition?
''Gold surges in flurry of haven buying
Gold prices hit their highest levels for 2010 on Friday as uncertainty in currency markets and rising concerns about Greece's debt crisis encouraged investors to seek less risky assets.
The currency and precious metals markets have been engulfed by chatter about whether China will announce a shift in its currency policy soon and allow the renminbi to appreciate against the US dollar.
Spot bullion in London rose to an intraday high of $1,165.15 an ounce on Friday, up 4 per cent on the week and its highest level in four months.
Gold prices are closing in on their record high of $1,226.10 an ounce set in December.
'Safe-haven buying continues to support gold prices,' said Suki Cooper, a precious metal analyst at Barclays Capital in London.
She added that investors in exchange-traded funds backed by gold have 'substantially increased their exposure.' Thursday saw the largest increase in gold ETF buying since mid-September, said Ms Cooper.
Other precious metals also rallied. Spot silver prices rose to $18.40 an ounce, their highest level in three months and up 3 per cent on the week.
Platinum and palladium posted strong gains this week on the back of surging demand from carmakers for catalytic converters used to reduce exhaust emissions.
Palladium closed the week at $510 an ounce, up 4.1 per cent and near a two-year peak of $511.50 an ounce set on Wednesday.
Platinum ended at $1,7120 an ounce on Friday, up 3.1 per cent on the week.''