Business: Lift for the Bullion Boom

A week of panic buying pushes prices to historic highs

A legion of financial matadors would have been needed to quell the stampede of gold bulls, who in five days of frantic trading last week boosted the price to nearly twice as high as it was only 21 months ago and three times as high as 38 months ago. In London, one frazzled trader termed the heated bidding "wild and irrational." It was no less so at the International Monetary Market in Chicago, where a record 31,591 contracts were posted on Thursday. Buyers also rushed for other precious metals. Silver approached $12...

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