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Record Gold Hoard Spurs Bullish Bets

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Gold traders are more bullish after investors accumulated the biggest-ever hoard of the metal, with Europe’s deepening debt crisis driving them to protect their wealth with this year’s second-best performing commodity.

Eighteen of 26 surveyed by Bloomberg expect bullion to rise next week. Holdings in exchange-traded products backed by gold reached a record 2,350.8 metric tons on Nov. 23, now valued at $127.8 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Hedge funds and other speculators increased their net-long position, or bets on higher prices, for four weeks, the longest stretch since March, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show.

Almost $12 trillion was wiped off the value of global equities since May on mounting concern about slower global growth, driving investors to what are perceived as the safest assets. Yields on Treasuries fell to a near-record low and gold is heading for an 11th consecutive annual gain. Bullion beat every other member of the Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities this year except for gasoil.

“There’s absolutely no doubt that people are still worried,” said Carole Ferguson, an analyst at Fairfax IS in London. “The market’s being constantly confronted with the flow of bad news. Gold’s still an asset that people will look at.”

Bullion rose 19 percent to $1,690.30 an ounce this year on the Comex exchange in New York, and reached a record $1,923.70 in September. The S&P GSCI gained 1.1 percent and the MSCI All- Country World Index of equities retreated 15 percent. Treasuries returned 9.7 percent, a Bank of America Corp. index shows.


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