CHICAGO, Mar. 2 -- Gold futures on the COMEX Division of the New York Mercantile Exchange on Wednesday settled at 1,437.7 U.S. dollars per ounce, a fresh all-time high, as unrest in Libya and inflationary concerns continued to boost safe- haven demands.
The most active gold contract for April delivery climbed 6.5 dollars per ounce, or 0.45 percent, to settle at 1,437.7 dollars, breaking the prior record of 1,432.5 dollars made on Dec.7.
Market analysts noted that the escalation of turmoil in the Middle East has pushed more investors to buy gold as a safe-haven investment.
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi restated his vow to stay in power, saying that the turmoil roiling his country is a foreign conspiracy, according to media reports Wednesday. Government and rebel forces battled over control of eastern Libya, where much of the country's oil is refined and shipped abroad. Iran and Oman also saw growing unrests.
As a result, crude oil in New York hiked 2.6 to 102.23 dollars a barrel on Wednesday, the highest settlement since September 2008. A trader said the rising oil prices are strengthening inflation concerns, making precious metals all the more attractive as a store-of-value investment.
The trader added that given the continuing strong fundamentals and the concerns of geopolitical instability spreading to Saudi Arabia and other autocratic oil-producing nations, gold and silver look set to challenge 1,500 dollars and 40 dollars, respectively, in the coming weeks.
Silver for May delivery gained 40.8 cents, or 1.2 percent, to 34.835 dollars an ounce. Meanwhile, April platinum delivery also hiked 14.2 dollars, or 0.77 percent, to 1,859.3 dollars an ounce.