Gold prices surged by Rs. 150 to the near record level of Rs. 18,490 per ten grams in the national capital today on brisk buying by stockists and jewellers for the ongoing marriage season, coupled with a firming global trend on account of the Europe debt crisis.

Buying activity gathered momentum after gold traded near a record level in London and may climb as investors seek a safe haven to park their funds over concerns that Europe’s debt crisis will sap the region’s economic recovery and weaken its 16-nation currency.

Investors and funds worldwide were seen shifting their funds from melting equity and forex to bullion for quick gains. A firming trend in futures trade was another encouraging factor for the metal.

Standard gold and ornaments surged by Rs. 150 each to trade near a record high of Rs. 18,490 and Rs. 18,340 per ten grams respectively. Sovereigns also gained Rs. 50 to Rs. 14,450 per piece of eight grams. Gold had reached a record high of Rs. 18,550 per ten grams on December 3.

Gold in overseas markets, which normally sets the price trend in domestic markets, rose by USD 9.27 to USD 1242.45 an ounce. The metal, which touched an all-time high of USD 1,249.40 on May 14, has advanced 13 per cent this year.

Silver ready prices held steady at Rs. 29,600 per kg in restricted buying, while silver weekly-based delivery gained Rs. 100 to Rs. 29,700 per kg on speculative buying.

Silver coins was unchanged at Rs. 34,400 for buying and Rs. 34,500 for selling of 100 pieces.

Keywords: bullion rates

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