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The gold fix, climbing since May, peaked at £1184.17 on Friday, August 2, representing a 3.1% rise on the previous week and above the previous record of £1182 set in September 2011.

The silver spot rate reached £13.64 per ounce last week, the highest of 2019 but some way short of record levels.

Precious metals are a traditional safe haven at times of economic uncertainty. The current peak follows the increasing possibility of a no-deal Brexit and the announcement that the US Federal Reserve was cutting interest rates.

Larger scrap volumes

Brighton precious metals dealer Michael Bloomstein reported larger amounts of gold and silver coming in due to the increasing scrap values. At the start of the year he had predicted greater movement in the gold price after the relatively consistent levels across 2018.

He pointed out that the ratio between the prices of gold and silver was growing ever wider. “For the past 20 years you would normally have needed about 60 ounces of silver to buy one ounce of gold. Now you would need 85 ounces of silver to buy one ounce of gold.”