Futures prices of precious metals, sparked by uncertainty about the security of the U.S. banking system, soared Tuesday in near-record volume.
Questions about the banking system stemmed from the closing of privately insured savings and loan instititions in Ohio for a third business day.
The problems there undermined faith in the dollar that had pushed the U.S. currency to record levels against foreign currencies in recent weeks.
As a result, traders turned to precious metals, which are considered a haven for funds in times of economic uncertainty.
Gold prices at the Commodity Exchange in New York advanced by the $25-an-ounce limit, the biggest move since Oct. 11, 1982, an exchange spokesman said. The spokesman said volume in the gold pit approached and may have passed the record of 103,695 contracts set Dec. 21, 1981, but final volume figures were unavailable.
Frank DiMaria, a metals trader in Chicago, said volume there increased sharply after the market in New York reached the $25 limit.