Safety Edge Pushed Gold Trading 20% in 2008


"Last year, 23.2 billion ounces of gold. . .was traded, compared with 19.3 billion ounces in 2007."

Gold trading climbed 20% last year as the global economic slowdown increased the metal's appeal as an investment haven, said International Financial Services London (IFSL). Silver trading also rose.

Last year, 23.2 billion ounces of gold worth $20.2 trillion was traded, compared with 19.3 billion ounces in 2007, Marko Maslakovic, senior economist of IFSL, said today.

About $29 trillion was wiped off equities last year, while central banks around the world cut interest rates in an attempt to end the worst financial crisis since World War II. Gold reached a record $1,032.70 an ounce in March and averaged $872.10 in 2008, up 25% from the previous year.

"The traditional 'safe-haven' appeal of precious metals has attracted many investors to this asset class," Maslakovic said in a separate report, adding that increased investment in exchange-traded funds also helped boost trading volumes.

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