Metals prove precious to investors

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Investors turning to precious metals as an alternative to stock markets over the past decade have been richly rewarded as silver and gold prices have soared, new research shows. Silver prices have risen by 572 per cent over the past ten years, according to the latest Bank of Scotland Private Banking Commodities Monitor, published today.

The increase makes it comfortably the best performing commodity since 2002, driven by demand from both investors and industry.

Three-quarters of the commodities analysed in the report have more than doubled in value over the past decade, with gold (428 per cent increase), tin (414 per cent) and copper (406 per cent) showing the next biggest increases after silver.

Commodity prices have risen 160 per cent overall since 2002, compared with a 35 per cent return on UK equities over the same period.