The metal soared as high as $1,881.40 an ounce. It’s been on a tear this summer, rising more than 15 percent in August alone. In the same three weeks, the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index has fallen about 12 percent.
Gold logged its biggest weekly gain since February 2009, according to FactSet data.
As an investment, the metal has climbed because of investors’ concern about the uncertain state of the global economy, diving stock markets and moves by central banks around the world to weaken their currencies.
Central banks in developing countries are also swapping out major currencies for gold in their reserves, driving up demand for the metal.
At this point, analysts say more than fear is driving gold higher. The simple fact that it has kept rising in an otherwise turbulent market is part of the metal’s appeal. The recent surge “lacks a lot of explanation,” said Jon Nadler, an analyst for Kitco Bullion Dealers, and that, to him, signals danger of a deep reversal as it approaches $2,000 an ounce.
But analysts have been predicting a top in the market for months only to see gold’s climb accelerate.
The last time gold was worth less than $1,000 an ounce was October 2009. It gained steadily from there, and then burst higher this summer, crossing $1,600 an ounce for the first time in mid-July; three weeks later it was worth more than $1,700 an ounce, and 10 days later, it passed $1,800 an ounce.