U.S. gold futures ended a volatile week on a slightly higher note, after an emergency tax-relief plan announced by President Bush did not ease investor recession concerns, raising the appeal of the precious metal.
Gold prices crept up after President Bush recommended an economic stimulus plan meant to ward off a recession that could be worth up to $150 billion. The announcement failed to ease investor concerns, adding to gold's appeal as an asset considered a safe haven for investors.
Gold prices slid almost $50 this week, rocketing to an all-time high of $916.10 Tuesday and plunging to $870.60 Friday ahead of Bush's remarks. Later, an ounce of gold for February delivery climbed $1.20 to settle at $881.70 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Fed Chief Bernanke testified before the House Budget Committee on Thursday about the outlook for the economy. He warned the government should move quickly to put together a fiscal stimulus plan to help consumers amid rising recession concerns, prompting President Bush's announcement today.
The ongoing housing slump and tight credit market have caused consumers and businesses to clamp down on spending, causing increased concerns of the economy's health. The last time US went into a recession was in 2001.