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US gold sets record, ends strong as alternate asset

 NEW YORK, June 18 (Reuters) - U.S. gold futures raced up to
a record level on Friday and settled at its highest close ever
as investors continued to buy precious metals as an alternative
asset after several weak U.S. economic readings and renewed
worries about the pace of recovery, traders said.
 * For the latest detailed report, click on [GOL/].
 GOLD
 * U.S. gold futures for August delivery GCQ0 on the COMEX
division of the NYMEX climbed to a record at $1,263.70, and
settled up $9.60 at $1,258.30, its highest ever close.
 * Gold continued its rise on follow-through buying after
closing Thursday at a record closing high - traders.
 * Investors sought gold as an alternative investment as
economic uncertainty continues to muddle the outlook for
interest rates and share prices - analysts.
 * "I think it is a case of gold's ability to compete with
both credit and equity markets for investments. Competing with
credit markets has been in play for a long time, because of low
interest rates and low opportunity cost of holding gold," said
Tom Pawlicki, precious metals analyst at MF GLOBAL in Chicago.
 * Weakness shown in the latest U.S. economic data on
Thursday renewed investor anxiety about the pace of recovery,
and their desire to hold gold as a safe haven asset -analysts.
 * Philadelphia Federal Reserve's June factory activity
index tumbled in June  [ID:nN17313258], and first-time filings
by unemployed U.S. workers rose in the latest week.
[ID:nN17316909].
 * "The data yesterday from initial claims and Philadelphia
Fed was another thing indicating to investors that the economic
recovery will be subpar compared with other recession
recoveries. That makes gold more attractive," Pawlicki added.
 * The euro's rise to a near three week high against the
dollar also helped propel gold higher - traders.
 * Analysts said gold was reverting to its more traditional
relationship by rallying with the euro, which tends to happen
when the yellow metal is purchased in overseas markets.
 * The euro headed for its biggest weekly gain in more than
a year as investors debated its outlook, while awaiting results
of European bank stress tests. [USD/]
 * Open interest in gold futures also began to pick up in
the last few sessions - traders.
 * "Open interest is still below the peak from mid-May.
Usually you see open interest following along with the prices,
but that just hasn't been the case. Now that we're making new
highs you may see that change," said Pawlicki.
 * Gold's strong close on Thursday at $1,250.50, was a
strongly bullish signal and lead to more buying at the start on
Friday -chartists.
 * A near-term target sits at $1,264 an ounce - chartists.
 * COMEX estimated final gold futures volume at a 104,755
lots.
 * Spot gold XAU= hit an all-time high of $1,261.90 an
ounce, but was bid at $1,256.65 an ounce at 3:20 p.m. EDT (1920
GMT), against $1,243.40 late on Thursday.
 * London afternoon gold fix XAU= set higher at $1,256.0
an ounce.
 SILVER
 * COMEX July silver SIND soared 40.80 cents to close at
$19.1840 an ounce.
 * Higher range ran from $18.6850 an ounce to $19.2750, its
highest since May 17.
 * Silver was rallying with gold as a financial asset.
 * COMEX estimated final volume at 47,928 lots.
 * Spot silver AG= tracked gold higher to a four-week peak
of $19.24 an ounce.
 * Late in  the session it pulled off the highs to trade
around $19.16 an ounce against $18.67 late Thursday.
 * London silver fix SAFI= was set sharply higher at
$18.77 per ounce.
 PLATINUM
 * NYMEX July platinum PLN0 rose $15.0 an ounce to finish
at $1,587.0 an ounce.
 * Spot platinum WPT= advanced to $1,588 an ounce from
$1,574 in late Thursday trade.
 PALLADIUM
 * September palladium PAU0 jumped $10.15 to end at
$491.40 an ounce.
 * Spot palladium NPD= was higher at $487 than $479.50
late Thursday.
 * Both PGMs hit a one-month highs during the session.
Prices at 3:32 p.m. CDT (2016 GMT)    
                          LAST/      NET    PCT     YTD
                          CLOSE      CHG    CHG     CHG
US gold         GCQ0     1258.30     9.60   0.8%   14.8%
US silver       SIN0      19.184    0.408   0.0%   13.9%
US platinum     PLN0     1587.00    15.00   1.0%    7.9%
US palladium    PAU0      491.40    10.15   2.1%   20.2%
Gold            XAU=     1256.55    13.15   1.1%   14.6%
Silver          XAG=       19.15     0.48   2.6%   13.7%
Platinum        XPT=     1588.50    14.50   0.9%    8.4%
Palladium       XPD=      488.00     8.50   1.8%   20.3%
Gold Fix        XAUFIX=  1256.00    12.00   1.0%   13.8%
Silver Fix      XAGFIX=    18.77    27.00   1.5%   10.5%
Platinum Fix    XPTFIX=  1578.00     7.00   0.4%    7.6%
Palladium Fix   XPDFIX=   484.00     6.00   1.3%   20.4%
 (Reporting by Carole Vaporean;Editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid )


























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