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Gold Prices Settle Near Record

NEW YORK ( TheStreet ) -- Gold prices pushed past the $1,400 level Wednesday in a session marked by thin volume and a weak U.S. dollar.

Gold for February delivery added $7.90 to $1,413.50 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price traded as high as $1,414.50 and as low as $1,401.50 during Wednesday's session.

The U.S. dollar index was shedding 0.77% to $79.78 while the euro was up 0.72% to $1.32 vs. the dollar. The spot gold price was adding $4, according to Kitco's gold index.

Was Tuesday's double-digit rally a fake-out or a breakout? Based on Wednesday's prices, gold is up 26% for 2010 and 400% for the last decade. The massive rally has some warning of a gold bubble and a possible top within the next two years.

Goldman Sachs (GS - Get Report) says gold will top in 2012 at $1,750 an ounce, while Jon Nadler, senior analyst at Kitco.com, says gold could continue rallying in 2011 but will cap by the end of the year.

Others believe that the bull run is far from over and that if the consensus is a gold bubble, then in actuality the opposite is true.

"We're going to go into a period where there's a mania," says Rob McEwen, CEO of U.S. Gold (UXG). He believes the market is "about a third of the way there."

Despite the media hype about gold, most of the public doesn't own it. One is still more likely to see people selling their gold rather than buying it. Popular trading vehicle the SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) added 155 tons this year as investors piled into the physically backed gold ETF, but many money managers don't own it.

Jim Rogers, a legendary investor who co-founded the Quantum Fund, told me he was recently at a conference with 300 international money managers, and when asked, 76% of them had never owned gold.

"When you have a long bull market in anything, at the end everyone becomes hysterical, everybody owns it ... and then we will have a huge bubble in all of them," he says. Rogers estimates the commodity bull run, not just gold, is about halfway there.
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