Gold prices firmed on Thursday, retreating from earlier eight-week highs above $1,750 an ounce as the dollar strengthened and equity markets eased, but firmly underpinned by strong investment appetite for the precious metal.
Spot gold was
US stock futures rose 1 percent on Thursday after a sharp drop on Wall Street overnight, limiting losses in Asian share markets.
However, the focus is shifting to how Europe reacts to a sovereign debt crisis that is now threatening its ban
Gold prices held just below the previous session's record high in Europe on Wednesday, as the threat that violence in the Mena region will spread supported interest in the metal as a haven from risk.
While the precious metal's rall
Gold rose above $1,410 an ounce in Europe on Monday as turmoil in the Middle East region lifted safe-haven buying and fuelled a fresh spike in oil prices, stoking concerns over US growth and knocking the dollar.
Spot gold was bid at $1,411
US wheat futures surged almost 2 per cent to a near-30-month high on Tuesday on strong export demand, coupled with worries about threats to production in China and the US, traders said.
Soybean futures ended higher on a flurry of late fund
Chicago wheat futures rose 1.6 per cent on Monday, as strong demand led by Egypt's purchase over the weekend and tenders from Iraq and Bangladesh buoyed the market amid concerns over sub-zero temperatures hurting the US winter crop.
Gold rose to within $10 of a record high on Friday, closing out an unprecedented tenth annual gain as the combination of a weaker dollar and global economic uncertainty seemed to pave the way higher in 2011.
The entire precious metals comp
Spot gold held steady on Monday as healthy physical demand helped buoy prices, while China's move to further tighten its monetary policy and upbeat US economic data weighed on sentiment.
China raised banks' reserve requirement ratio
Gold was steady on Wednesday, after hitting a fourth consecutive record in the previous session, with the US Federal Reserve moving closer to providing more support to the economy.
The Fed on Tuesday laid the groundwork for further stimulu
Gold gained on Thursday but hovered around $50 below its record high, while the world's largest gold-backed ETF rose to a lifetime high as investors sought safety from turmoil in the financial markets.
Europe's debt crisis has burn