Gold – which is priced in dollars – has hit record highs as the US currency slid in value against the euro – falling to its lowest in 15 months.
Foreign exchange traders have been selling dollars and buying euros on expectations of further euro zone rate rises and because of the looming budget deadlock in the US.
Inflation, concerns over euro zone debt and unrest in the Middle East are also supporting precious metals. Silver is at its strongest since early 1980.
“Inflationary concerns and sovereign debt worries in Europe (are) heightening demand for value store and safe haven investments,” said Fairfax analyst John Meyer in a note.
Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch said: “It is mainly the weaker US dollar which is the driver today for gold prices. If the euro-dollar rate rises further, gold will follow suit.”