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GoldSINGAPORE: Spot gold surged to a lifetime high on Friday in thin holiday trade, hitting a record for a sixth consecutive session on a weak dollar and factors ranging from geopolitical uncertainty to inflation concerns.

Silver also raced to its loftiest in 31 years, notching the milestone for a seventh straight day and outstripping gold's weekly gains by a huge margin.

The ongoing euro zone sovereign debt crisis, unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, rising global inflation, and most recently worries over the fiscal stability of the United States have fueled the record-breaking rally in these precious metals.

Spot gold rose to record of $1,512.50 an ounce before easing to $1,507.69 by 0853 GMT, on track for a weekly gain of 1.5 percent its sixth consecutive week of gains.

Spot silver hit $46.69 an ounce, it’s highest since 1980 on course for a weekly rise of 8.4 percent its biggest weekly increase in two months.

Silver has gained 51 percent so far this year, and gold 6 percent, this compares with a corresponding 1 percent rise in the London Metal Exchange price of copper, the bellwether of the industrial metals complex.

Supporting precious metals, the dollar was languishing near a three-year low against a basket of currencies, and could take a run at the all-time low hit in 2008, pressured by record low interest rates and the crushing weight of the U.S. budget deficit.

So long as the overall environment stays supportive and the dollar remains weak, gold is expected to retain its strength.

Price of bullion is seen to rise to $1,700 an ounce by 2015, analysts polled by Reuters said in a poll.

However, a correction might be on the horizon after the recent rapid ascent, traders and analysts said.

"Gold is likely to consolidate around the $1,500-level next week," said Li Ning, an analyst at Shanghai CIFCO Futures.

"The angle of the recent rally is very sharp, and we are bound to see some correction in the near term."

       

Copyright Reuters, 2011

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