31 Jul '11, 4am

Soaring demand spotlights secret NY gold hoard

NEW YORK - IF THERE'S one place a James Bond villain - or even some actual governments - would love raiding today, it's the basement of a somber building in lower Manhattan: the world's biggest gold vault. Gold prices hit a record US$1,632.8 (S$1,965.56) an ounce on Friday, reflecting a nervous rush by private and national investors from stocks, dollars and euros to the safe-haven commodity. And the biggest single pile of the stuff on the planet lies deep beneath the New York branch of the US Federal Reserve Bank, a stone's throw from the Stock Exchange. On a visit, a guide from the bank revealed the 7,000-ton hoard gleaming softly in a vault carved from Manhattan's bed rock, five stories under the Big Apple's teeming streets. Cast in bricks, stacked ceiling-high in blue-painted, caged boxes, the heap is worth a staggering US$350 billion. As it happens, the United States i...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Money/Story/STIS...

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