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All that glitters is gold

All that glitters is gold

Category: Investments

Updated: 11/08/2010
First Published: 11/08/2010

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Investors who have placed their faith in precious metals should be celebrating, after a return of 9.7% saw the asset class crowned as the best performer of the first six months of 2010.

Amid continued concerns over the global economic outlook, gold was the best performing precious metal, according to Lloyds TSB, with prices rising by 13.5% over the period.

With UK retail prices increasing by 2.8% over the first half of the year, the price of gold increased by five times the rise in inflation.

Commercial property was the second best performing asset class overall, recording a return of 9.6%, followed by UK Bonds, with growth of 6.1%.

However, investors in international equities, which fell by 6.8%, and UK equities, which dropped by 6.1%, will have been left disappointed, after they were revealed to be the worst performing asset classes over the period.

Concerns over the scale of the Eurozone's debt problems and uncertainty over the global economy both played their part in their under par performance.

However, with UK equities having enjoyed growth of 6.9% over the past month, and international equities a rise of 5.8%, better fortunes might be just around the corner.

"Gold continues to maintain its position as the ultimate safe haven investment, against a backdrop of the debt problems in Europe and concerns over the prospects for economic growth and inflation," said Suren Thiru, economist at Lloyds TSB. " This is despite a weakening in its value over recent weeks.

"The outlook for domestic assets will be driven, in part, by how sensitive the fledgling economic recovery, both globally and in the UK, is to the impending period of fiscal austerity.

"The level of demand from emerging markets, such as China and India, is also likely to remain an important determinant of many assets prices."

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