"It takes a monumental event to get gold moving like this"

Section:

By Lisa Sanders
wwwCBS.MarketWatch.com
May 18, 2001

NEW YORK (CBS.MW) -- Gold futures prices leaped more
than 5 percent to a nine-month high Friday as speculation
about inflation and the possible end to central bank sales
of the precious metal pushed it past a key technical level
and sparked an afternoon rush among traders.

June gold futures rose by $13.80 to settle at $287.80 an
ounce on the Commodities Exchange division of the New
York Mercantile Exchange. The high of the day was
$288.50. The close is the highest since July of last year.

Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Alaron.com, said the
rally involves more than just technical trading.

"There's a perception that the overseas central bank
selling of gold is coming to an end and a perception that
lending activities against gold have been overdone,"
Flynn said. "And there's also the perception that inflation
may be coming back."

In the equities markets, the CBOE Gold Index rose
almost 9 percent and the Philadelphia Gold and Silver
Index (XAU) gained more than 5 percent. Individual
issues such as Placer Dome and Newmont Mining (
were among the top gainers.

July silver rose 8.2 cents to settle at $4.577 an ounce.

On the supply end, Comex gold inventories were down
4,983 ounces at 832,027 ounces compared to the
previous session, and silver stocks were up 150,628 to
95,932,703 ounces.

July platinum added $1.80 to settle at $617 an ounce,
while June palladium settled up $2 to $654 an ounce.

Copper for July delivery added 0.19 cent to settle at
78.75 an ounce. As of Friday, London Metals Exchange
warehouse stocks fell 700 tons to 435,200 tons. Late
Thursday, Comex stocks were up 1,011 short tons to
134,928 tons. July aluminum added 2.05 cent to settle
at 72.95.

The CRB/Bridge Index, a broad-based measure of
commodity futures markets, closed at 218.48, up 1.1
percent.