July 30, 2009 / 12:18 PM / 10 years ago

Gold lures inflation-wary hedge fund chiefs

LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. hedge fund managers are increasingly likely to buy gold to protect their personal wealth against inflation, an investment management firm said on Thursday.

London-based Moonraker said a survey it carried out in the United States found that 20 out of 22 fund managers interviewed bought physical gold for personal investment on concerns the U.S.’ quantitative easing programme may lead to higher prices.

“Gold is the ultimate currency, performing best when economies are at extremes, whether that is inflationary or deflationary,” Jeremy Charlesworth, chief investment officer at Moonraker, said in a statement.

“The managers I met in the U.S. know that if the politicians get the quantitative easing programme wrong, then the value of money relative to real assets will dwindle,” he added.

Gold was seen as a safe haven asset during the financial crisis, as many investors considered it a less risky investment than stocks and shares.

As the economic outlook improves gold is also being bought as a hedge against inflation, which analysts say may soar as the economy recovers.

A Federal Reserve report this week said the pace of the recession slowed or stabilized in most areas of the United States.

“Everyone agreed that sentiment is better than it was a few months ago, but none of the structural problems have yet been fixed. Double-digit inflation two or three years down the line is a very real possibility,” Charlesworth said.

Reporting by Martina Fuchs; Editing by Peter Blackburn

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