With financial markets in disarray and the US suffering from a debt downgrade, investors turned to precious metals for a safe-haven asset.

Gold futures soared to an all-time high of $1,718.20 per ounce Monday at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange after rising three percent in morning trading.

Since the beginning of 2009, the price of gold has nearly doubled. And investors have purchased more gold in the last month than in the prior six months.

“Investors have been concentrating on acquiring an asset that preserves purchasing power,” George Gero, vice president at RBC Global Futures, told the Associated Press.

The boost in gold prices also had a positive effect on silver, which jumped 3.7 percent to $39.72 an ounce.

[Associated Press]