Gold bullion hits new record of $1,249

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Prices moving into “uncharted territory” Gold rose to a record in London and New York as investors bought the precious metal Friday as an alternative to holding currencies amid Europe’s debt crisis.

Gold for immediate delivery hit $1,249.40 an ounce, climbing as much as $16.70, or 1.4 percent. The metal is up 3.1 percent this week. Gold prices are set for a 10th annual gain, the longest winning streak since at least 1920. The metal also climbed to records of 1,002.672 euros an ounce, 861.1171 British pounds and 1,404.613 Swiss francs.

The euro fell to a 14-month low against the dollar amid speculation that debt-cutting measures by European nations will undermine economic growth. Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer Josef Ackermann said Greece may not be able to repay its debts in full, while former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker yesterday said he’s concerned that the euro area may break up.

A lot of people still believe it’s going to be very difficult to resolve the European debt situation,

said Bernard Sin, head of currency and metals trading at bullion refiner MKS Finance SA in Geneva

. “Gold has detached itself from other financial instruments. It’s basically trading all by itself.”

“Gold will continue its rally, given strong demand from investors unnerved by the turbulence in Europe’s debt-ridden nations,” . “Gold is moving into uncharted territory in terms of prices.”

Chris Yoo, head of the derivatives team at Samsung Futures Co

Fifteen of 19 traders, investors and analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, or 79 percent, said prices would rise next week.

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