A one kilogram gold bar sits on top of silver bars (Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg)

It Took Only 10 Minutes to Send Gold and Silver Prices Soaring

(Bloomberg) -- Italy’s budget turmoil is giving gold and silver an added haven-demand boost at a time when fund managers are rebalancing their asset mix.

Volume for the precious metals spiked on the second trading day of October, jolting prices that had been trading little changed just minutes earlier. The activity "suggests that an investor is making a significant allocation in gold at the beginning of the month," Tai Wong, the head of base and precious metals trading at BMO Capital Markets, said.

In the 10 minutes ended 8:50 a.m. in New York, December gold contracts equal to almost 1.57 million ounces traded on Comex -- almost 12 times the 100-day average volume for that time of day. In the case of silver futures, contracts representing more than 36 million ounces traded by 9:30 a.m., erasing earlier losses.

It Took Only 10 Minutes to Send Gold and Silver Prices Soaring

“This is a gold move and silver is catching up,” Wong said in telephone interview from New York.

It Took Only 10 Minutes to Send Gold and Silver Prices Soaring

Money managers are giving precious metals a second look as the European Commission warned of a Greek-style crisis in Italy after Finance Minister Giovanni Tria’s effort to promote his government’s new fiscal strategy ended in failure on Monday. That’s given gold and silver a boost, Wong said.

Gold futures for December delivery advanced 1.5 percent to $1,209.70 an ounce by 11:43 a.m., set for the biggest gain for a most-active contract since Aug. 24. Silver futures climbed as much as 3.1 percent to $14.95 an ounce, the highest since Aug. 28.

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