LONDON — Gold prices soared to three-month highs today as a result of worries about the U.S. banking system and the stepped up fighting between Iran and Iraq. Meanwhile, the dollar continued its sharp retreat.
Gold, which had tumbled to a 5 1/2-year low of $282 an ounce as recently as Feb. 25, briefly flirted with $320 an ounce Tuesday in Zurich, Switzerland.
In Zurich, gold bullion finished the day at a bid of $317.50 an ounce, up from $299 late Monday and $291 at the end of last week.
In London, gold was quoted at a late bid of $315.25 an ounce, compared to $298.90 late Monday and $293.80 Friday.
Earlier, in Hong Kong, gold rose by $8.44 to close at a bid of $303.73 an ounce.
Silver shot up to a late bid of $6.215 an ounce in London from $5.845 late Monday.
In Tokyo, the dollar fell to 259.50 Japanese yen from 260.35 yen Monday. Later in London the dollar slipped further, to 258.10 yen.
The British pound rose nearly three cents against the dollar in London, climbing to $1.1360 from $1.1062 late Monday.
Other late dollar rates in Europe, compared to late rates Monday, included: 3.2750 German marks, down from 3.3505; 2.7790 Swiss francs, down from 2.8620; 10.0050 French francs, down from 10.2410; 3.6975 Dutch guilders, down from 3.7920; 2,074.00 Italian lire, down from 2,120.00, and 1.3750 Canadian dollars, down from 1.3822.