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 INDEX  >  Precious metals are best performing assets
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Published by Telegraph.co.uk.com:  By Richard Evans

 

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They rose in value by an average of 9.7pc, with gold turning in the best performance thanks to a rise of 13.5pc, the bank's survey of asset classes found. International equities were the worst assets to hold over the period, falling by 6.8pc. Of the nine asset classes analysed, five – precious metals, UK commercial property, UK bonds, international bonds and cash – delivered a positive return for investors. Four lost money: UK residential property, commodities, UK equities and international equities.

Commercial property's performance – a rise of 9.6pc – was just a fraction below that of precious metals and much better than the 0.2pc decline registered by residential property. "The recent improvement in returns from commercial property is from a low base following the substantial declines recorded in 2008," the Lloyds report said.

Although commodities as a whole fell by 2.7pc over the first six months of the year, the best performing individual commodity, coffee, saw its price rise by 20.8pc over the period.

"Gold was the best performing precious metal, with prices rising by 13.5pc, up from $1,096 per troy ounce in December 2009 to $1,244 in June 2010. The price of gold increased by five times the rise in inflation, with UK retail prices increasing by 2.8pc over the period," the report said.

Silver (10.3pc) and platinum (4.9pc) also recorded significant price increases in the first half of the year.

Suren Thiru, an economist at Lloyds TSB, said: "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. 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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As with all investments, the price of precious metals changes rapidly, and as such should be considered volatile. Upon entering the metals market, the risk of loss is solely that of the client. Only individuals who are capable of sustaining a capital loss should consider purchasing precious metals. Acquisitions in precious metals which are financed are considered high risk.
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