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BIS/gold price-fixing litigation status report

Section: Daily Dispatches

Gold prices touch two-month high;
shares of metals companies edge higher

By Myra P. Saefong
Friday, March 9, 2001

NEW YORK (CBS.MW) -- Gold futures prices climbed to their highest
level in two months Friday, as a continued rise in gold lease rates
resulted in increased bank lender buying of the precious metal.
Shares of metals edged higher on the back of gold's price gains.

The one-week and one-month lease rates were around 6.5 percent to 7
percent Friday morning, a rise of some 1.5 percent to 2 percent from
Thursday's levels, Dave Meger, a senior metals analyst at
in Chicago, said in an e-mail update.

When the lease rates or amount of money paid to borrow gold climbs,
bank bullion lenders must buy back the precious metal on the market
to return it to the central bank and make it available to investors
who want to borrow it.

Meger attributed the price climb to quot;fund short covering and
alternative investment demand as well as the rising lease rates. quot;We
believe could all play a role in extending this move higher.quot;

Gold for April delivery climbed to a high at $271.80 an ounce, its
highest level since Jan. 8. and was last at $269.80, up $3.70. May
silver climbed 3 cents to $4.54 an ounce.

Over on the supply end, Comex inventories of gold were unchanged at
1,632,873 ounces late Thursday. Silver inventories also stood flat at
98,972,748 ounces.