Gold and silver prices rise as investors look for safety

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Gold can be a safe haven for investorsAfter a three day break, precious metals prices are on the upswing as investors ponder gloomy economic news and look for places to store value.

UBS financial strategist John Reade believes that the trend will continue this year as the financial crisis shows no signs of easing.

"We expect the precious metal will average at about $1,000 an ounce in 2009, a level we last saw in March last year. This compares with our old forecast of $700 an ounce," he told the Financial Times.

He also noted that this is happening despite a strengthening US dollar, decline in the price of crude oil, as well as falling inflation, which traditionally limit the increase in gold prices.

On Wednesday gold futures for April delivery rose $9.70 to $902.20 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, while silver futures rose 17 cents to $12.48 an ounce.

Amid the global financial meltdown that dragged down the stock market over 30 percent in 2008, gold was one of the best performing assets gaining 5.5 percent in value over the previous year.
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