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Gold ends at a record high

By Aaron Smith, CNNMoney.com staff writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Gold prices hit a record high settlement Thursday, driven by continued anxiety over the economy.

The flight to gold caused it to close at $1,248.20 per troy ounce, a gain of $18.20, or nearly 1.5%, from the prior day.

The prior record for a settlement, set June 8, was $1,246.50 an ounce.

Gold prices appeared to get a lift from weakness on Wall Street, as well as inflation fears, considering the sallow state of the euro.

"Gold has very little to do with economics and much more to do with emotions," said David Wyss, chief economist for Standard & Poor's. "People are scared right now. People were afraid of the dollar so they invested in the euro and now they're even more scared of the euro so they're looking for something to buy, and gold looks bright and shiny."

Gold has also shown signs that the price rise is not just a kneejerk reaction to economic volatility, said Adam Klopfenstein, senior market strategist at commodities brokerage firm Lind-Waldock.

He said gold has maintained high prices even when the stock market is doing well and the euro is pulling off its lowest point, an indication that the precious metal has some value as a long-term investment.

Gold rose as high as $1,252.50 per ounce before it settled, but that fell short of the intraday record of $1,254.50, set June 8.

Despite the record, gold is far from its real peak, as measured in dollars adjusted for inflation. Gold prices hit their true peak on Jan. 21, 1980, when a settlement of $825.50 an ounce translated to an all-time peak of $2,163.62 an ounce in 2009 dollars. To top of page

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