The price of gold streaked past US$1,700 an ounce for the first time Monday.
Investors, beset by worries about the U.S. debt downgrade, Europe's financial crisis and slowing global growth, sought safety in the metal as stocks tumbled around the world.
Standard and Poor's Friday cut of the long-term credit rating for the U.S. by one notch to AA+ from AAA, deepened investor fears about a weakening U.S. economy. The dollar has lost some of its allure because of concerns about the country's ability to pare its debt, the flagging U.S. economic recovery and measures the Federal Reserve has taken to support the economy.
Gold's price has nearly doubled in price since the start of 2009, and its climb accelerated this summer.
Last week's panicked stock selling also heightened gold's appeal. Gold shot up $51.80, or 3 per cent, to $1,703.60 in Monday morning trading after peaking earlier at a record high of $1,718.20 per ounce.