Gold is building on a 6 percent rise
in February, its biggest one-month climb since August, triggered
by unrest across the Arab world which unseated leaders in Tunisia
and Egypt before spreading to Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Oman and Iran.
Gold hit record highs above $1,436 an ounce on Wednesday as unrest
spread across the Middle East and North Africa, fuelling interest
in the precious metal as a haven from risk, and as oil prices surged.
Following are key dates in gold's trading history since the early
- August 1971 - U.S. President Richard
Nixon takes the dollar off the gold standard, which had been
in place with minor modifications since the Bretton Woods Agreement
of 1944 fixed the conversion rate for one Troy ounce of gold
- August 1972 - The United States
devalues the dollar to $38 per ounce of gold.
- March 1973 - Most major countries adopt floating
exchange rate system.
- May 1973 - U.S. devalues dollar to $42.22 per
- 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
prompt investors to move into the metal.
- August 1999 - Gold falls to a low at $251.70
on worries about central banks reducing reserves of gold bullion
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 4- year high
on safe-haven buying in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq.
- December 2003-January 2004 - Gold breaks above
$400, reaching levels last traded in 1988. Investors increasingly
buy gold as risk insurance for portfolios.
- November 2005 - Spot gold breaches $500 for
the first time since December 1987, when spot hit $502.97.
- April 11, 2006 - Gold prices surpass $600, the
highest point since December 1980, with funds and investors pouring
money into commodities on a weak dollar, firm oil prices and geopolitical
- May 12, 2006 - 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
- June 14, 2006 - Gold falls 26 percent to $543
from its 26-year peak after investors and speculators sell out
of commodity positions.
- November 7, 2007 - Spot gold hits a 28-year
high of $845.40 an ounce.
- January 2, 2008 - Spot gold breaks above $850.
- March 13, 2008 - Benchmark gold contract trades
over $1,000 for the first time in U.S. futures market.
- March 17, 2008 - Spot gold hits an all-time
high of $1,030.80 an ounce. U.S. gold futures touch record peak
- September 17, 2008 - Spot gold rises by nearly
$90 an ounce, a record one-day gain, as investors seek safety
amid turmoil on the equity markets.
- Jan-March 2009 - Gold-backed exchange-traded
funds report record inflows in the first quarter as financial
sector insecurity spurs safe-haven buying. Holdings of the largest,
the SPDR Gold Trust, rise 45 percent to 1,127.44 tons.
- February 20, 2009 - Gold rises back above $1,000
an ounce to a peak of $1,005.40 as investors buy bullion as a
safe store of value as major economies face recession and equity
- April 24, 2009 - China announces it has raised
its gold reserves by three-quarters since 2003 and now holds 1,054
tons of the precious metal, boosting expectations it may add further
to its reserves.
- August 7, 2009 - European central banks opt
to renew their earlier agreement to limit gold sales over a five-year
period, setting the sales cap at 400 tons a year.
- September 8, 2009 - Gold breaks back through
$1,000 an ounce for the first time since February 2009 on dollar
weakness and concerns over the sustainability of the economic
- December 1, 2009 - Gold climbs above $1,200
an ounce for the first time as the dollar drops.
- December 3, 2009 - Gold hits record high at
$1,226.10 an ounce, with dollar weakness and expectations for
central banks to diversify reserves into gold driving prices higher.
- May 11, 2010 - Gold reaches fresh record high
above $1,230 an ounce as fears over the contagion of debt issues
in the euro zone fuel safe-haven buying.
- June 21, 2010 - Gold jumps to a new high at
$1,264.90 an ounce as underlying fears over financial market stability
and sovereign risk combine with dollar weakness to push the metal
through resistance at its previous high.
- Sept 14, 2010 - Gold climbs back to record highs,
this time at $1,274.75, as global markets reflect renewed uncertainty
on the economic outlook.
- Sept 16-22, 2010 - Gold hits record highs for
five successive sessions, peaking at $1,296.10, as investors flock
to bullion after the Fed signals it may consider further quantitative
easing, weakening the dollar and raising fears over future inflation.
- Sept 27 - Spot gold prices touch the $1,300
an ounce mark for the first time.
- Oct 7 - Gold rallies to a record high above
$1,360 an ounce as the dollar comes under pressure from building
expectations for the U.S. Federal Reserve to take extra measures
to keep interest rates low and prop up the economy.
- Oct 13 - Gold jumped to record highs near $1,375
an ounce as the dollar continued to languish, with the U.S. unit
coming under pressure after minutes from the Fed's September meeting
signaled the U.S. economy may need further stimulus.
- Nov 8 - Gold prices break through the $1,400
an ounce mark for the first time as haven buying prompted by renewed
budget problems in Ireland more than offset a sharp dollar bounce.
- Dec 7 - Gold hits a new record high at $1,430.95
an ounce on fund buying ahead of year-end, jitters over the euro
zone debt crisis and speculation for further U.S. monetary easing.
- January 2011 - Gold prices fall more than 6
percent in their worst monthly performance in over a year as a
revival in risk appetite diverts investment to higher-yielding
- March 1 - Gold recovers to hit a record high
at $1,434.65 an ounce as unrest in Tunisia and Egypt spreads across
the Middle East and North Africa, boosting oil prices.
- March 7 - Gold extends record highs above $1,442
an ounce as oil prices hit their highest in 2-1/2 years after
protests are quashed in Saudi Arabia and as violence in Libya
- 2011 - Gold breaks the $1900 and
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