Gold glitters at record high

goldrecordhigh.pngClick the chart to track the price of gold and other commodities. By Annalyn Censky, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Gold surged to a new record high Tuesday, as uncertainties about the global economy sent some investors flocking to the save-haven precious metal.

Gold futures for December delivery, the most actively traded contract, rose $24.60, or 2%, to settle at a new record high of $1,271.70. That topped the previous record of $1,264.80 reached on June 21.

Gold is often seen as the ultimate low-risk asset because it is tangible and unlike currencies, it isn't tied to any one country's policies.

A number of global headlines were fueling the flight to safety on Tuesday, said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst with PFG Best.

Investors are concerned about how banks will phase in the new regulations announced in Basel, Switzerland, over the weekend, he said.

They're also using gold as a hedge against the dollar, which fell to a fresh 15-year low against the yen Tuesday, after Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan won re-election. Investors have been looking for the Japanese government to jump in to limit the currency's rise, as a stronger yen can hurt profits at Japan's export businesses. Kan has resisted pressure to do so.

Adding further fuel to the fire, Flynn called out reports showing declines in gold production from Russia -- among the top producers in the world.

"If you ask five people on the street why they're buying gold, five people could give you a different reason," Flynn said. "If you're worried about a weak dollar, you buy gold. If you're worried about bank failures, you're buying gold. If you're worried the global system is going to collapse, guess what? You buy gold."

Gold rose to record highs earlier this year as fears about Europe's sovereign debt crisis escalated, and in late 2009, gold had surged when investors fretted about a weak dollar and inflation fears.

But while gold prices hit a record on Tuesday, they were still a far cry from their real peak, as measured in dollars adjusted for inflation.

Gold hit its summit on Jan. 21, 1980, when it peaked at $825.50 an ounce, in 1980 dollars. That translates to an all-time peak of $2,163.62 an ounce in 2009 dollars.  To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.89%3.81%
15 yr fixed3.05%2.97%
5/1 ARM3.08%3.04%
30 yr refi3.95%3.88%
15 yr refi3.15%3.06%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,928.20 -142.20 -0.79%
Nasdaq 4,939.33 -77.60 -1.55%
S&P 500 2,089.46 -25.03 -1.18%
Treasuries 2.18 0.04 1.92%
Data as of 7:33am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.35 -0.09 -0.55%
Microsoft Corp 47.60 -0.64 -1.33%
Apple Inc 125.80 -2.90 -2.25%
Ford Motor Co 15.53 -0.25 -1.58%
AT&T Inc 33.72 -0.81 -2.35%
Data as of May 5

Sections

A new Kansas law approved Tuesday is too strict for Uber. It stop operating there immediately. More

Jobs at Disney, the NCAA and UPS, as well as warehouse, babysitting and journalism jobs are some of the most searched on Google in 2015. More

The London-based startup is on a quest to democratize access to technology and coding with its computer company. More

Lack of wage growth and career opportunities along with long hours are most likely to make someone say "Sayonara, boss," according to a new global survey of full-time employees. More