Frank Tang and Jan Harvey
February 20, 2009

Gold futures rose above $1,000 an ounce on Friday as jittery investors turned to the yellow metal to preserve wealth amid a tumbling stock market.

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Long-term inflation worries fanned by the massive U.S. economic stimulus package signed into law by President Barack Obama this week has driven investors into gold, which is perceived as the most likely asset to hold its value if the dollar starts weakening.

“I think there’s a little bit of panic out there. Equities are setting new lows and gold is the place to run to. I don’t think there’s much more than that,” said Robert MacIntosh, chief economist at Eaton Vance in Boston.

U.S. gold reached its highest level of the past seven months.

Gold futures for April delivery on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose $17.70 to $994.20 an ounce at 10:32 a.m. EST. They rose to a session high of $1,000.30, their highest level since July 16.

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