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Last Updated: Friday, 9 December 2005, 16:23 GMT
Rush for gold as price hits $530
Gold bar
Gold prices show no sign of slowing down and are up 19% this year
Gold fever continues to grip world commodity markets, with prices hitting $530 an ounce, a near 25-year high.

Gains came despite concerns that the market may be set for a correction and some analysts are now predicting that prices have even higher to go.

Precious metals have been given a boost as investors look to protect themselves against higher inflation and weakening currencies such as the Japanese yen.

Gold prices have risen more than 16% since November 7.

The precious metal is often seen as a haven in times of political or economic instability.

With many economies expected to hit a period of high inflation and low growth, it is becoming more attractive to investors.

There is also speculation that Asian and European central banks may cut US dollar holdings in favour of gold.

'Dizzy high'

"I wouldn't buy at 24-year highs," Philip Klapwijk, the chairman of Gold consultancy GFMS told Reuters.

"I would wait for a correction... but central banks don't think that way, they don't think from a trading perspective, it's an allocation issue."

Analysts also pointed to the annual year-end increase in the demand for jewellery.

The price of gold has climbed almost 20% this year and has nearly doubled during the past five.

"It's a dizzy high," said Darren Heathcote of NM Rothschild, warning that "we are looking at a very overbought market".

"We're looking for a correction. It has to come at some point," he said.

Why the price of gold has increased

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