* Gold's bullish target at $1,518-technicals
* Coming Up: US Unemployment claims weekly; 1230 GMT
(Updates prices, adds poll)
By Lewa Pardomuan
SINGAPORE, April 21 Bullion powered to a
lifetime high for a fifth consecutive session on Thursday on a
sharply weaker dollar, while lingering tensions in the Arab
world, worries about the euro zone crisis and U.S. fiscal health
offered additional support.
Gold's decade-long bull run could continue in the next four
years, though at a slower pace, with positive inflation risks
partially cooled by a shift towards more normal economic
conditions, analysts polled by Reuters said. [ID:nL3E7FL0K8]
Silver roared to its highest in more than three decades as
it tracked a rally in gold, which was also spurred by a threat
of a downgrade to the United States' triple-A credit rating. The
gold-silver ratio -- the number of silver ounces needed to buy
an ounce of gold -- was at its lowest since 1983.
Spot gold rose to a record high of $1,508.50 an ounce
and stood at $1,506.70 an ounce by 0607 GMT, up $8.55 an ounce.
U.S. gold futures GCcv1 also hit a lifetime high at $1,509.5
"The U.S. effectively lost its triple-A rating in the eyes
of investors that really matter quite some time ago, back when
gold broke $1,000 an ounce," said Fat Prophets commodities
analyst David Lennox.
"We don't think America's perceived rating will improve
anytime soon and this is the driving force behind our
expectation of gold's continued price strength. Our next target
for gold is $1,590 an ounce."
A bullish target at $1,518 per ounce remains intact for spot
gold as indicated by an inverted head-and-shoulders pattern and
its wave pattern, said Wang Tao, a Reuters market analyst for
commodities and energy technicals. [ID:nL3E7FL06M]
Spot silver rose as high as $46.05 an ounce, its
strongest since 1980, when the Hunt Brothers of Texas cornered
the silver market.
The dollar tumbled to a three-year low against a basket of
currencies on Thursday, with market players selling the
greenback to buy buoyant risky assets in a move that threatens
to drive the dollar index towards its historic low.
The dollar index fell 0.6 percent from late New York
trade to 73.898, the lowest since August 2008 -- just before it
surged during the Lehman Brothers collapse as investors
scrambled for safe-havens.
The physical market in Asia saw limited selling of scrap as
investors waited for bigger gains. Dealers noted physical buying
from India in the previous session ahead of a key religious
festival, suggesting that consumers had no choice but to buy
bullion at higher prices.
India, the world's largest gold consumer, celebrates Akshaya
Tritiya on May 6, when consumers buy gold to invoke prosperity.
"Sentiment is still bullish, we can say. The dollar is
weakening and there is no solution to the situation in Libya.
There's a downgrade in the U.S. rating and there's still
uncertainty in the euro zone. It's messy around the world," said
Ronald Leung, director of Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong.
"But I think gold is rising too fast. We are waiting for
some kind of correction in the near future, hopefully next
France promised Libyan rebels on Wednesday it would
intensify air strikes on Muammar Gaddafi's forces and send
military liaison officers to help them as fighting raged in
Gaddafi's government is circumventing international
sanctions to import gasoline to western Libya by using
intermediaries who transfer the fuel between ships in Tunisia.
Brent crude climbed above $124 a barrel on Thursday as U.S.
crude inventories fell unexpectedly last week and a sharply
weaker dollar triggered a rush into riskier assets.
Precious metals prices 0607 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Turnover
Spot Gold 1506.70 8.55 +0.57 6.15
Spot Silver 45.94 0.74 +1.64 48.87
Spot Platinum 1803.24 12.09 +0.67 2.02
Spot Palladium 764.22 12.47 +1.66 -4.41
TOCOM Gold 3985.00 -23.00 -0.57 6.87 44784
TOCOM Platinum 4795.00 -11.00 -0.23 2.11 10512
TOCOM Silver 121.00 2.80 +2.37 49.38 4242
TOCOM Palladium 2027.00 37.00 +1.86 -3.34 391
TOCOM prices in yen per gram. Spot prices in $ per ounce.
(Additional reporting by Rujun Shen in SINGAPORE and Jim Regan
in SYDNEY; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
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