Gold gains as Europe debt concerns spur investment

Gold gains as Europe debt concerns spur investment London: Gold Monday gained as concern about Europe's debt crisis spurred demand for the metal as a protection of wealth.

Gold gained USD 6.07, or 0.4 percent, to USD 1,645.07 an ounce, after rising 1.3 percent last week, the second increase in a row. Silver also rose 0.8 percent to USD 29.94 an ounce.

The euro was near a 16-month low versus the dollar after Standard and Poor's stripped France of its top credit rating and cut eight other euro-zone nations.

The metal climbed 10 percent in 2011, an 11th consecutive annual gain, as investors sought to diversify from equities and some currencies.

S&P lowered the top ratings of France and Austria one level with "negative" outlooks and cut Italy, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia. It affirmed ratings of countries, including Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

PTI