NEW YORK — Gold prices surged in busy U.S. and European trading Wednesday, reaching the highest levels in about 14 months, amid anxieties over the tension between the United States and Libya. The dollar declined as currency traders awaited the outcome of the upcoming meeting of finance authorities from the United States, Britain, France, Japan and West Germany.
Renewed speculation that the officials from the five countries may favor concerted action to force interest rates down helped push the dollar lower, currency dealers said.
On the Commodity Exchange in New York, gold for delivery in January jumped $9.80 an ounce, closing at $349.50. The Republic National Bank in New York quoted gold bullion at $349 an ounce at 4 p.m. EST, up $9.75 from Tuesday's late bid.
Jeffrey Nichols, president of American Precious Metals Advisors Inc., said gold buying has been heavy partly because of the U.S.-Libya confrontation over the December airport attacks in Vienna and Rome.