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Investors are now making a $130 billion bet on gold

Investors are now making a $130 billion bet on gold as European leaders meet in Brussels to seek ways to tackle the crisis that means Germany and France are under threat of losing their AAA rating from Standard & Poor’s. The European Central Bank yesterday cut interest rates for a second consecutive month to shore up growth, increasing the appeal of gold, which earns investors returns through price gains.

“People are buying out of concern, out of fear,” said Mark O’Byrne, executive director of Dublin-based GoldCore Ltd., a brokerage that sells everything from quarter-ounce British Sovereigns to 400-ounce bars. Central banks “are all pursuing extremely loose monetary policies and we still have negative real interest rates. That makes gold attractive.”