Page last updated at 10:37 GMT, Monday, 12 January 2009

Credit crunch boosts gold trading

Pure 1,000-gram gold bars
Gold prices hit a record of $1,011 in March.

Gold trading enjoyed a bumper year in 2008 as investors sought a safer place to put their cash as the credit crunch hit home.

The value of gold trading rose 58% to a record $20.2 trillion (13bn), according to trade body International Financial Services London (IFSL).

The growth in turnover was partly due to the rise in gold prices in the early part of the year.

Investors have also been attracted by its appeal as a relatively safe asset.

Gold hit an all-time high of $1,011 per ounce in March before falling back to end the year at $870.

Silver also fared well as investors warmed to other precious metals. Trading increased 39% to a record $2.6 trillion.

London has the world's largest market for gold and silver trading, the IFSL said.

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