Energy Risk Commodity Rankings 2011: Metals

HSBC held on to the top spot in precious metals, in a year dominated by the rise in the price of gold. Société Générale also retained its lead in base metals, some way ahead of second-placed Goldman Sachs. By Ned Molloy

Winners' medals

The sovereign crisis in Europe has caused investors to question some assumptions that had previously been considered rock-solid – a major one being that government debt issued by members of the eurozone is as close to risk-free as it comes. The rescue of Greece by the European Union and International Monetary Fund last May, followed by Ireland in November, shook that belief. Attention quickly focused on Portugal and Spain – with fears that a rescue of the latter could spark untold damage to

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