(Kitco News) – Comex gold futures prices are trading strongly higher Monday morning and overnight hit another all-time record high of $1,718.20, basis December futures. With gold leading the way, the precious metals are seeing strong safe-haven investment demand after the U.S. got a debt downgrade late Friday and as the European Union attempts to contain its own escalating debt crisis. December gold last traded up $54.70 at $1,706.20 an ounce. Spot gold last traded up $40.60 an ounce at $1,704.50. December Comex silver last traded up $1.509 at $39.75 an ounce.
The late-Friday Standard & Poors downgrade of the U.S. debt rating was not a real big surprise to most market watchers, but the market place is seeing a strong reaction to the news. Ironically, the U.S. dollar index is only trading slightly lower and U.S. Treasuries are actually higher on the news. That’s a clue that there are many who still feel the U.S. is still the best bet during times of heightened trader and investor uncertainty. Also, many traders have little respect for the Standard & Poors and other major ratings agencies, after they failed miserably regarding correctly rating other assets and entities the past three years.