Gold pushed to near record-highs by Gaddafi

With oil prices well above the century mark despite reassurances by Saudi Arabia that it is willing and able to offset any potential disruptions of the commodity arising out of the Libyan civil war, gold prices rose once again overnight and came to within 1% of their all-time record high. Certain ‘safe-haven’ currencies such as the yen, the Swiss franc, and the Norwegian kroner also received augmented bids as global investors scrambled for shelter while they watched the playing out of Mr. Gaddafi’s disturbing epilogue to his rule.

No need to mince words: the country that Mr. Gaddafi claims still contains “folks who love him” is in a de facto state of civil war. Several cities in Eastern Libya have fallen under the control of rebels and they are now seen advancing on Tripoli while footage from the Al-Jazeera network replays the images of summarily executed bodies belonging to those who refused to show their “love” for Mr. Gaddafi and chose not to shoot protesters. Unless outside military intervention or some covert operation removes the man from power, the climax of this ugly event is likely to become a replay of Comrade Ceausescu’s 1989 Romanian finale.

Gold spot prices opened with a $6.40 per ounce gain on Thursday, and they were quoted at $1,418.10 on the bid-side. Silver was off by 12 cents however, feeling the pressure of selling in the industrial and noble metals’ niche (see below). Platinum was down $11 to $1,771.00 the ounce, while palladium suffered an equal-sized loss and was quoted at $766.00 per troy ounce.

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