A report from U.K. newspaper "The Independent" pushed gold to record levels and tripped heavy losses in the dollar. The report, denied by all parties, says the Arabs and Chinese are working together with the Russians and the French to reprice oil, replacing the U.S. dollar with a basket of currencies and commodities including -- gold. Gold jumped more than $25 to end near its highs at $1,041. Not only would gold benefit from being included in a repricing mechanism, but it is currently benefiting, in its role as an alternative currency, from questions over the future of the dollar. The dollar index fell 0.4 percent to 76.33.
Commodities rose across the board though the gain in oil was very subdued, up 50 cents to $71.00. Traders noted that supply and demand, which are currently unfavorable for oil, will ultimately determine its value, more so than the items used to price it. Underscoring the glut of petroleum products in the market, U.S. oil company Sunoco is closing a refinery and cutting its dividend in half.
Gold shares soared in extremely heavy volume with SPDR Gold (GLD) up 3% at $102.28 and Barrick (ABX) up 5% at $38.84. The S&P rose on the day, up 1.4 percent to 1,054 despite a run of strategist warnings that the market is due for a correction.