(Reuters) - Gold powered to another record above $1,398 an ounce on Monday after a decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve to resume buying government bonds stoked inflation fears.
Here are key dates in gold's trading history since the early 1970s:
August 1971 - U.S. President Richard Nixon takes the dollar off the
gold standard, which had been in place with minor modifications since
the 1944 Bretton Woods agreement fixed the conversion rate for one troy
ounce of gold at $35.
* August 1972 - The United States devalues the dollar to $38 per ounce of gold.
* March 1973 - Most major countries adopt floating exchange rate system.
* May 1973 - U.S. devalues dollar to $42.22 per ounce.
* January 1980 - Gold hits record high at $850 per ounce. High inflation
because of strong oil prices, Soviet intervention in Afghanistan and the
impact of the Iranian revolution prompt investors to move into the metal.
* August 1999 - Gold falls to a low at $251.70 on worries about central
banks reducing reserves of gold bullion and mining companies selling
gold in forward markets to protect against falling prices.
* October 1999 - Gold reaches a two-year high at $338 after agreement to
limit gold sales by 15 European central banks. Market sentiment toward
gold begins to turn more positive.
* February 2003 - Gold reaches a 4- year high on safe-haven buying in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq.
* December 2003-January 2004 - Gold breaks above $400, reaching levels
last traded in 1988. Investors increasingly buy gold as risk insurance
* November 2005 - Spot gold breaches $500 for the first time since December 1987, when spot hit $502.97.
* April 11, 2006 - Gold prices surpass $600, the highest point since
December 1980, with funds and investors pouring money into commodities
on a weak dollar, firm oil prices and geopolitical worries.
* May 12, 2006 - Gold prices peak at $730 an ounce with funds and
investors pouring money into commodities on a weak dollar, firm oil
prices and political tensions over Iran's nuclear ambitions.
* June 14, 2006 - Gold falls 26 percent to $543 from its 26-year peak
after investors and speculators sell out of commodity positions.
* November 7, 2007 - Spot gold hits a 28-year high of $845.40 an ounce.
* January 2, 2008 - Spot gold breaks above $850.
* March 13, 2008 - Benchmark gold contract trades over $1,000 for the first time in U.S. futures market.
* March 17, 2008 - Spot gold hits an all-time high of $1,030.80 an ounce. U.S. gold futures touch record peak of
* September 17, 2008 - Spot gold rises by nearly $90 an ounce, a record
one-day gain, as investors seek safety amid turmoil on the equity
* Jan-March 2009 -
Gold-backed exchange-traded funds report record inflows in the first
quarter as financial sector insecurity spurs safe-haven buying. Holdings
of the largest, the SPDR Gold Trust, rise 45 percent to 1,127.44 tons.
* February 20, 2009 - Gold rises back above $1,000 an ounce to a peak of
$1,005.40 as investors buy bullion as a safe store of value as major
economies face recession and equity markets tumble.
* April 24, 2009 - China announces it has raised its gold reserves by
three-quarters since 2003 and now holds 1,054 tons of the precious
metal, boosting expectations it may add further to its reserves.
* August 7, 2009 - European central banks opt to renew their earlier
agreement to limit gold sales over a five-year period, setting the sales
cap at 400 tons a year.
* September 8, 2009 - Gold breaks back through $1,000 an ounce for the
first time since February 2009 on dollar weakness and concerns over the
sustainability of the economic recovery.
* December 1, 2009 - Gold climbs above $1,200 an ounce for the first time as the dollar drops.
* December 3, 2009 - Gold hits record high at $1,226.10 an ounce, with
dollar weakness and expectations for central banks to diversify reserves
into gold driving prices higher.
* May 11, 2010 - Gold reaches fresh record high above $1,230 an ounce as
fears over the contagion of debt issues in the euro zone fuel safe-haven
* June 21, 2010 - Gold
jumps to a new high at $1,264.90 an ounce as underlying fears over
financial market stability and sovereign risk combine with dollar
weakness to push the metal through resistance at its previous high.
* Sept 14, 2010 - Gold climbs back to record highs, this time at
$1,274.75, as global markets reflect renewed uncertainty on the economic
* Sept 16-22, 2010 -
Gold hits record highs for five successive sessions, peaking at
$1,296.10, as investors flock to bullion after the Fed signaled it might
consider further quantitative easing, weakening the dollar and raising
fears over future inflation.
* Sept 27, 2010 - Spot gold prices touch the $1,300 an ounce mark for the first time.
* Oct 7, 2010 - Gold rallies to a record high above $1,360 an ounce as
the dollar comes under pressure from building expectations for the U.S.
Federal Reserve to take extra measures to keep interest rates low and
prop up the economy.
* Oct 13, 2010
- Gold jumped to record highs near $1,375 an ounce as the dollar
continued to languish, with the U.S. unit coming under pressure after
minutes from the Fed's September meeting signaled the U.S. economy may
need further stimulus.
* Oct 14-Nov
8, 2010 - Gold again struck a series of records, with the latest rally
driven by expectations of a weaker dollar after the U.S. Federal Reserve
committed to buy $600 billion in government bonds, in a fresh effort to
support the economy.
(Compiled by Atul Prakash and Jan Harvey; Editing by Ed Lane)