Gold climbs for 5th year

December 31, 2005|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

Gold finished the trading year yesterday with its fifth consecutive annual gain, and it also had the biggest quarterly gain since September 2003.

Futures for February delivery rose $1.40 yesterday, or 0.3 percent, to $518.90 an ounce on the Comex. The trading session ended early for New Year's weekend. A futures contract is an obligation to sell or buy a commodity at a set price by a specific date.

"Gold is a hot commodity now, so more people, especially large hedge funds, are paying attention," said Billy Flahive, a trader at Island Trading Group in New York.

Commodity prices, led by energy and metals, reached a 25-year high in early September as pension funds, hedge funds and investors poured more money into raw materials.

Gold climbed in all currencies this year, paced by a 36 percent gain valued in yen and euros. Gold, which traditionally moved in the opposite direction of the dollar, has gained even as the U.S. currency climbed 15 percent against the euro.

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