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Gold Prices Hit an All Time High

7 December 2009

TIMELINE: Unstoppable? Gold grabs new record
Wed Dec 2, 2009 5:20am EST

(Reuters) – U.S. spot gold hit a new record above $1,203 per ounce on Wednesday, marking an all-time high for the second straight day as weakness in the dollar spurs buying of the precious metal as an alternative investment.

Here are the key dates tracing gold’s historic rise above $1,000 an ounce.

August 1971 – United States President Richard Nixon takes the dollar off the ‘gold standard’, which fixed paper notes’ value to a pre-set quantity of gold. It had been in place, with minor modifications, since the Bretton Woods Agreement of 1944 fixed the conversion rate for one troy ounce of gold at $35.

  • August 1972 – U.S. devalues dollar to $38/ounce of gold.
  • March 1973 – Most major countries adopt floating exchange rate system.
  • May – U.S. devalues dollar to $42.22 per ounce.
  • January 1980 – Gold hits record high at $850 per ounce. High inflation because of strong oil prices, Soviet intervention in Afghanistan and the impact of the Iranian revolution, prompts investors to move into the metal.
  • August 1999 – Gold falls to $251.70 on fears of central banks reducing reserves, and mining companies selling gold in forward markets to protect against falling prices.
  • October 1999 – Gold reaches a two-year high at $338 after agreement to limit gold sales by 15 European central banks. Market sentiment toward gold begins to turn more positive.
  • February 2003 – Gold reaches a four and a half year high on safe-haven buying in run-up to conflict with Iraq.
  • December-January 2004 – Gold breaks above $400, levels last traded in 1988. Investors turn to gold as risk insurance.
  • November 2005 – Spot gold breaches $500 for the first time since December 1987, when spot hit $502.97.
  • April 11, 2006 – Gold surpasses $600, the highest since December 1980, with funds and investors jumping into commodities on a weak dollar, firm oil prices and geopolitical worries.
  • May 12 – Gold prices peak at $730 an ounce with funds and investors pouring money into commodities on a weak dollar, firm oil prices and political tensions over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
  • June 14 – Gold falls 26 percent to $543 from its 26-year peak after investors sell out of commodity positions.
  • November 7, 2007 – Spot gold hits 28-year high: $845.40/ounce.
  • January 2, 2008 – Spot gold breaks above $850.
  • March 13 – Benchmark gold contract trades over $1,000 for the first time in the U.S. futures market.
  • March 17 – Spot gold hits an all-time high of $1,030.80 an ounce. U.S. gold futures touch record peak of $1,033.90.
  • September 17 – Spot gold rises almost $90/ounce, a record one-day gain. Investors seek safety amid equity market turmoil.
  • February 20, 2009 – U.S. gold futures rise back above $1,000 an ounce to a peak of $1,005.40 as investors turn to gold as major economies face recession and equity markets tumble.
  • September 8 – U.S. gold futures hit $1,000 an ounce for the first time since February as the dollar’s weakness, concerns about the sustainability of global economic recovery and worries about future inflation underpinned sentiment. [ID:nSP480333]
  • November 3 – Gold crests $1,080 an ounce, defying dollar strength as the International Monetary Fund’s 200-tonne sale of gold to India’s central bank boosts sentiment.
  • November 6 – New York gold futures rise to a record above $1,100 as the dollar eases in the wake of weaker-than-expected U.S. non-farm payrolls data, while spot gold hits a record high at $1,100.90 an ounce. [ID:nL6697824]
  • Nov 26 – Spot gold rises above $1,192.60 per ounce, extending gains from the day before.
  • Dec 1 – Gold hits record highs of $1,198.70 an ounce in Europe, as the dollar weakens against a basket of currencies after policy comments from the Bank of Japan.
  • Dec 2 – U.S. gold futures rise to a record high above $1,210 per ounce, while spot gold rises above $1,203 per ounce.Sources: Reuters, GFMS Ltd, World Gold Council, Commodity Research Bureau