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Gold Hits Record in 2008: Metal Analysts

" I do see gold hitting a new high at some point in the first half"

Gold will rise to a record in 2008, increasing for an unprecedented eighth consecutive year, as investors seek protection from accelerating inflation, metals analysts say, Bloomberg reports.

Gold will probably average $800 an ounce, compared with $696 this year, according to the median estimate of 37 traders, analysts and investors surveyed by Bloomberg News. Gold has gained 30 percent to $827.20 an ounce in London this year, its best year since 1979, when the Iranian revolution crippled crude- oil exports and U.S. inflation surpassed 13 percent.

"I do see gold hitting a new high at some point in the first half,'' said UBS AG's John Reade, who is tied as the most- accurate analyst in the London Bullion Market Association's 2007 gold-price forecast.

Gold rose as record oil prices drove up inflation, and supplies from South Africa, the world's biggest producer, dropped to the lowest in 84 years. Mounting losses in credit markets tied to subprime mortgage loans spurred demand for alternatives to stocks and bonds, while the dollar's drop to a record against a basket of trade-weighted currencies boosted investor interest in commodities.