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Flash: Gold Hits Record High

Gold prices struck record highs on Friday, as skittish investors rushed for the safety of the bullion amid fears of a worsening U.S. economy and lingering euro zone debt crisis sent.
Spot gold struck a record of $1,836.46 an ounce, and was trading up 0.7 percent at $1,836.20 by 0100 GMT (9 p.m. EDT). It was headed for a 5-percent weekly rise.
U.S. gold also climbed to an all-time high at $1,839.8, before trading up about a percent at $1,839.5.
“It’s not surprising in view of more concerns about Europe and terrible data out of the U.S.,” said Darren Heathcote, head of trading at Investec Australia.
“It looks unlikely that gold would fall particularly at the present time given there’s so much uncertainty and nervousness in the markets. Markets will remain skittish and gold supported.”
Latest data showed a sharp drop in the factory activity in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region and unexpected slump in home resales, fuelling worries that the growth in the world’s largest economy has stalled.
Worries about the health of European banks added to the nervousness in the financial markets, which has driven investors to safe-haven assets such as gold and the dollar.
Holdings in the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, rose by more than 1 percent on the day to a one-week high of 1,286.825 tonnes by August 18.


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