Metals Are Burning Up the Market

Suppliers are dealing with strikes and outages. But as demand soars, investors are seeing gold, silver, and other commodities hit their highest prices in years

Investors in the metals market have been treated to a nostalgic -- and profitable -- trip down memory lane this month. Prices for gold, silver, and platinum are at the highest levels since the early 1980s. And then there's once-lowly copper. The red metal has set new all-time highs, finishing Mar. 29 at almost $2.46 a pound, yet another record. Aluminum and zinc are trying to get into the game, too, having recently exceeded their highs of the 1990s. And the metals bonanza of 2006 follows three previous years of rising prices.

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