The last London Gold Fix of 2011 came in at $1574.50 per ounce—some 11.6% higher from the end of 2010—and recording gold's 11th year of consecutive gains.
U.S. crude oil neared year-end just shy of $100 per barrel, also 11% up on 2010.
The MSCI index of world stock markets has lost 8% in 2011.
Silver bullion lost almost 9% against the U.S. dollar this year, recording near all-time highs in April just shy of $50 per ounce but retreating Thursday as low as $26.25.
"People close their profitable positions to cash out before the year-end, " says Nick Trevethan, ANZ Bank's senior commodity strategist.
"Gold is still up on the year and there are relatively few markets moving in the positive territory."
"Base metals have not fared well this year, with falls recorded across the complex," notes Marc Ground at Standard Bank, listing 2011 losses of 18.6% in aluminum, 20.7% in copper and 28.7% in tin.
"Gold has done its job this year of protecting investors," Bloomberg quotes Michael Cuggino at the $15 billion Permanent Portfolio Solutions in San Francisco.
"Some people will get out of gold, but the longer-term investors will remain."
On a technical analysis of chart patterns, says Russell Browne at Scotia Mocatta in New York, "The longer-term uptrend off the October 2008 low remains intact, but was breached on an intraday basis [on Thursday] and is likely to be re-tested and breached in the short term."
"Gold is going to go higher, but it's not going to go in a straight line," says Martin Murenbeeld at DundeeWealth in Toronto.
"Gold has given positive returns, but it doesn't necessarily do it in the way that gives comfort, and that makes people nervous."
Adrian Ash, BullionVault
Gold price chart, no delay / Buy gold online at live prices
Formerly city correspondent for The Daily Reckoning in London and head of editorial at the UK's leading financial advisory for private investors, Adrian Ash is head of research at BullionVault—winner of the Queen's Award for Enterprise Innovation, 2009 and now backed by the World Gold Council market-development and research body—where you can buy gold today vaulted in Zurich on $3 spreads and 0.8% dealing fees.
© BullionVault 2011
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