Gold reaches all-time high as dollar slips

The price of gold hit an all-time high of close to 1,040 dollars an ounce on Tuesday as the dollar fell on rumours that Gulf states were considering ditching the greenback in favour of a basket of other currencies for oil trading.


AFP - The price of gold struck an all-time high at 1,038.65 dollars an ounce here on Tuesday as the dollar fell on a reported plan by Gulf states to stop using the greenback for oil trading.

Gold reached the level in late afternoon trade on the London Bullion Market, beating the previous record high of 1,032.70 dollars an ounce struck in March, 2008.

"Gold prices hit an all-time high as the dollar weakens," said Barclays Capital precious metals analyst Suki Cooper.

"The dollar weakness appears to be related to ... (reported) secret talks about oil being priced in a basket of currencies including gold rather than the dollar, which has added to concerns about the future role of the dollar in international financial markets."

The dollar's future as the world's top currency was thrown into doubt on Tuesday as a report said Arab states had launched secret moves with China and Russia to stop using the greenback for oil trading.

Arab states have launched steps with China, Russia, Japan and France to stop using the dollar for oil trades, British daily The Independent reported on Tuesday, but the report was denied by Kuwait and Qatar and reportedly by other nations.

The United Nations meanwhile on Tuesday called for a new global reserve currency to end dollar supremacy, which has allowed the United States the "privilege" of building a huge trade deficit.

The Independent's Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk wrote in his paper: "In the most profound financial change in recent Middle East history, Gulf Arabs are planning -- along with China, Russia, Japan and France -- to end dollar dealings for oil."

They would instead switch "to a basket of currencies including the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar," added Fisk.

Gold, viewed as a safe-haven investment, has won back favour in recent months as the global economy struggles out of its worst slump in decades.

The run-up in gold has been largely driven by weakness in the dollar, which makes dollar-priced commodities cheaper for holders of stronger currencies, boosting demand.

Gold also wins support from fears about higher inflation because the metal is widely regarded by investors as a safe store of value.

Precious metals consultancy GFMS last month warned that the current upward trend in gold may not be sustainable should global stimulus packages fail to boost flagging demand in the battered world economy and inflation fall as a result.

The Group of 20 leaders of emerging and developed nations recently agreed at a summit in Pittsburgh not to roll back massive stimulus measures that helped contain a severe global recession.

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