Page last updated at 22:19 GMT, Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Gold hits new high on India deal

Gold bars
The IMF plans to sell more than 400 tonnes of gold

The price of gold has touched an all-time high after a large sale of the precious commodity by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to India.

Gold struck a high of $1,097.25 an ounce, against $1,084.50 late on Tuesday.

Buyers moved in after the IMF decision to sell 200 tonnes of gold to India's central bank.

Gold and other commodity prices have surged recently as investors have moved away from the US dollar.

Spreading risk

The sale to India was nearly half the 403.3 tonnes of gold the IMF has targeted for sale over the coming years.

"The question now is, who buys the rest of the IMF gold?" Bart Melek at BMO Capital Markets said in a note to clients.

"We suspect it may be China, other Asian countries, Russia or even India again, as they hold relatively little gold relative to their very large foreign exchange reserves, and may want to diversify away from US dollars."

The price of gold is typically strong in the October to December period because of the higher demand for jewellery in the run-up to Christmas and the Indian festival of Diwali.

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