Troops loyal to embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi fired on rebel forces and slowed down their advance toward the country's west and Gadhafi's hometown. Greece and Portugal saw their credit ratings with Standard & Poor's reduced.
"It is certainly the geopolitical factors which are still playing a role," Peter Fertig, owner of Quantitative Commodity Research in Germany, told the news service. "The situation in Libya is quite open and far from over."
Shortly after 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, gold futures climbed 0.75 percent, a $10.70 increase to $1,428.20 per troy ounce. Silver futures also were bullish with a 1.68 percent rise of 0.623 cents to $37.610 per troy ounce.
Gold is less than one week off notching its record price of $1,448.60 per troy ounce, which analysts attribute to the crises in Libya, the eurozone's banks and the March 11 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan, which created an ongoing nuclear disaster.
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