Gold blows past the $700 mark; Platinum breaks record

Gold rose to a 26-year high in London and New York as the dollar fell against the euro. Meanwhile, platinum prices rose to a record high for a fifth consecutive day, Bloomberg reports.

The dollar remained at about a one-year low against the euro as a government report showed the U.S. registered a $62 billion trade deficit in March. Gold has risen 41 percent this year while the dollar has declined 8.9 percent against the euro.

Gold for immediate delivery in London rose as much as $16.10, or 2.3 percent, to $730.40 an ounce, the highest since January 1980, Bloomberg reports. It is up 5.8 percent this week as of Friday, its ninth consecutive weekly gain.

Gold futures for June delivery gained $3, or 0.4 percent, to $724.50 at 9:36 a.m. Friday on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, Bloomberg reports. The metal earlier rose to $732, the highest since February 1980.

Against the euro, the dollar traded at $1.2894, from $1.2837 last night in New York.

Bullion has also surged this year as investors bought the metal as a hedge against inflation, Bloomberg reports. Oil prices reached records this year as a dispute over Iran’s nuclear program sparked concern supplies from the world’s fourth-largest oil producer may be disrupted.

The U.S. Federal Reserve on May 10 warned higher energy costs and raw-material consumption “have the potential to add to inflation pressures.” Surging consumer prices erode the value of assets such as bonds, making precious metals more attractive. Gold has surged almost 73 percent in the past year. Silver has more than doubled while platinum has jumped almost 54 percent.

Platinum for immediate delivery rose $34.50 to $1,330 an ounce on the LME. Earlier it gained as much as $44.50, or 3.4 percent, to a record $1,340, Bloomberg reports.