Gold investment hits record as recession triggers demand

Gold investment demand in the first quarter more than tripled from a year ago to a record level as investors piled into gold exchange-traded funds to hedge against the global economic downturn, according a report released early Wednesday by an industry group.

A drop in jewelry and industrial demand partly offset the jump in investment demand, the report said. Meanwhile, gold supply also surged in the first quarter as high prices encouraged record levels of recycling, which in turn curbed the rally in prices. Gold prices made a modest 4.3% gain during the first quarter.