Gold hits record high ... again

chart_ws_commodity_metals_gold.top(2).png By Amy Sahba, CNN


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Gold prices surged to new record highs on Thursday, continuing a rally started earlier in the week.

Gold futures for December delivery rose $5.10 to close at a record high of $1,273.80 an ounce in New York. That topped the previous all-time high closing price of $1,271.70, which came on Tuesday. Earlier in the day, contracts were trading even higher, at $1,279.50 an ounce.

Typically seen as a safe haven, gold is the ultimate currency for many investors. It involves the lowest risk because it is a tangible asset, and shows the highest upward price potential during times of stock and currency volatility.

Uncertain financial markets, weak economic conditions and the stressful political conditions of the mid-term elections are the main causes for rising prices, said Carlos Sanchez, a precious metals analyst with CPM Group.

And today's record might just be the beginning, with no sign of any of these worries easing up. Sanchez said gold prices will likely keep rising through the first quarter of next year. "The next level is $1,300 -- possibly by the end of this month. And I would not be surprised if it heads up to $1,400 by the end of this year."

Additionally, with the flood of U.S. dollars in the market and serious concerns over European countries' ability to back up debt obligations -- not only investors, but countries such as China, Russia and Egypt are buying gold.

While gold prices hit a record on Thursday, 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 $2,184.08 an ounce in 2010 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 fixed4.19%4.26%
15 yr fixed3.23%3.27%
5/1 ARM3.34%3.45%
30 yr refi4.17%4.23%
15 yr refi3.21%3.25%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,998.75 16.16 0.10%
Nasdaq 4,457.47 12.56 0.28%
S&P 500 1,979.37 0.46 0.02%
Treasuries 2.48 -0.01 -0.60%
Data as of 1:18pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Frontier Communicati... 6.72 0.78 13.22%
Windstream Holdings ... 11.97 1.44 13.69%
AT&T Inc 36.76 1.11 3.11%
CenturyLink Inc 39.57 1.86 4.93%
Apple Inc 98.55 -0.47 -0.47%
Data as of 1:04pm ET

Sections

In push for protein, fast-food chain offers Mega Meat Stacks that are twice as large as regular sandwiches. More

New annual report from U.S. government shows the long-term prognosis for Medicare has improved thanks to slower health spending, while the outlook for Social Security remains unchanged. More

Bunch o Balloons allows multiple water balloons to be filled at once. Parents are loving it -- to the tune of $645,000. More

Steve Mason, a pastor from California, inherited more than $100,000 in student loan debt when his 27-year-old daughter died suddenly in 2009. With interest and late penalties, the debt has since ballooned to $200,000. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.