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GoldSINGAPORE: Spot gold prices firmed on Tuesday below their record high, as worries over sovereign debt problems in both Europe and the United States further stoked investors' interest in bullion, while silver took a breather from a recent rally.

Spot gold gained 0.8 percent to $1,493.29 an ounce by 0019 GMT, off the record high of $1,497.20 hit in the previous session.

US gold futures were little changed, at $1,494.10.

Spot gold reached record highs in two consecutive sessions, as the momentum was boosted on Monday after Standard & Poor's threatened to downgrade the US credit rating, amid worries about Europe's debt crisis.

Federal Reserve officials offered clashing views on Monday of whether soft US growth or inflation pose a greater risk to the economy but the face-off looked unlikely to alter the Fed's ultra-loose stance for now.

Spot silver eased 0.4 percent to $43.16 an ounce, after hitting 31-year highs for three sessions in a row, as the weakness in the equities market affected sentiment in the precious metals that have industrial applications, such as silver and palladium.

Spot palladium fell 0.7 percent to $734.47.

Copyright Reuters, 2011

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