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Published: Friday, 2/29/2008

Gold price increases to record $975


NEW YORK - Gold prices trekked higher yesterday, touching a record $975 an ounce as high oil prices and a falling dollar pointed investors to the relative safety of precious metals.

Gold traditionally is considered a safe haven from inflation and economic uncertainty because it's known for holding its value.

Gold rose nearly 32 percent in 2007 and has gained more than 13 percent so far this year.

Gold for April delivery added $6.50 to settle at $967.50 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In aftermarket trading, the contract rose to a record $975 an ounce, within striking distance of the psychologically important $1,000 mark.

Other precious metals also rose. Silver for March delivery added 43 cents to settle at $19.640 an ounce after rising to a 28-year high of $19.845. Nymex copper surged to a record $3.8965 a pound before easing back to settle at $3.8635 a pound, still up 2.55 cents.

The dollar's steep decline against the 15-nation euro has been a major driver behind gold's advance from less than $650 an ounce in January 2007. The dollar traded lower Thursday versus the euro, which fetched $1.5215.

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