Page last updated at 17:18 GMT, Wednesday, 7 October 2009 18:18 UK

Gold price returns to fresh high

Gold bars
There are several factors impacting on the gold price

The price of gold has hit a fresh all-time high of $1,048.40 an ounce after a continued decline in the dollar kept it attractive to investors.

It came a day after having pushed past the previous record of $1,033.9, which was set in March last year.

Analysts said that there was still potential for prices to rise further if the dollar remained weak.

However, there was caution that it may represent a price bubble rather than a sustainably higher gold price.

Speculative bubble?

The gold price fell back slightly later in the day, to $1,042.30 as the dollar showed some signs of recovery.

Weak dollar
Inflation risk
Time of year

Analysts said concern about the possibility of higher inflation in the US as its economy recovers was another factor in lowering the price of the dollar, further boosting the appeal of gold - but there was scepticism about the driving forces.

"A mix of unfounded inflation fears, conspiracy theories and speculative demand looks more like the ingredients for a speculative bubble than the grounds for a sustainable increase in prices," said Julian Jessop, economist at Capital Economics.

The price of gold is typically strong in the October to December period because of the higher demand for jewellery in the run-up to Christmas and the Indian festival of Diwali.

Demand for gold is strong in India, and Indian communities around the world ahead of the festival of lights, which this year falls on 17 October.

This is because gold jewellery is typically given as presents.

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