Gold passes 800 dollars an ounce

13 hours ago

NEW YORK (AFP) — The price of gold passed 800 dollars an ounce here on Wednesday for the first time since 1980 after the US Federal Reserve lowered its key short-term interest rate, the New York Mercantile Exchange said.

Gold futures for December touched 800.80 dollars on the exchange (NYMEX) after the Fed made the cut amid a persistent housing slump and fears of inflation spurred by record high crude oil prices.

The Fed, in a widely expected decision, cut its short-term federal funds interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 4.50 percent.

Gold prices have jumped by about a third in value over the past year. The metal benefits from a weak US dollar as it makes commodities that are priced in dollars cheaper for buyers using stronger currencies.

Higher oil prices spark inflationary concerns, while gold is regarded as a haven in troubled times.

Its all-time record high price stands at exactly 850 dollars an ounce, reached on January 21, 1980.