CHICAGO, April 15 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX Division of the New York Mercantile Exchange finished at an all- time high settlement on Friday, as mounting global inflationary pressures buoyed up demand for gold as a hedge against inflation. Prices traded as high as 1,488.6 dollars an ounce, setting an intraday record as well.
The most active gold contract for June delivery jumped 13.6 dollars, or 0.9 percent, to 1,486 dollars per ounce.
The U.S. Labor Department reported Friday that U.S. consumer price index rose 0.5 percent in March, and the core rate, which excludes energy and food prices that can be volatile, rose by only 0.1 percent in March from February.
Meanwhile, report showed China's consumer price index advanced 5.4 percent in March, compared to a year earlier, outpacing economists' forecasts of a 5.3 percent jump, and ranked as the fastest since July 2008.
The emerging global inflationary concerns offered a strong boost to the precious metal on Friday, as gold and silver retain their value better than most commodities during periods of inflations.
"There's an inflation theme running through the market currently and that has been very supportive of gold, we also has recent lows in the dollar against many other foreign currencies this weeks, that is certainly indicative of gold's strength," Frank Lesh, a broker with FuturePath Trading told Xinhua.
Moody's Investors Service downgraded Ireland's government debt by two notches Friday, taking the country to the brink of junk status, and kept its outlook negative.
Lesh pointed out that the fact that situation in Libya remains unresolved and the downgrade of European nations'debt both contributed to spur flight-to-safety buying of gold on Friday.
May silver surged 90.7 cents, or 2.2 percent, to 42.571 dollars, the highest level in 31 years. July platinum trimmed 0.8 dollars, or 0.04 percent, to 1,794.8 dollars per ounce.