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The Great Gold Binge Nears an End

NEW YORK (TheStreet ) -- Gold prices catapulted to a new record Friday as fears of a global double-dip recession sent investors piling into the safe-haven metal.

Despite the flight to safety, experts warn that time may be up for this current rally.

Gold for December delivery skyrocketed $30.20 to close at $1,852.20 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, although settled well off session highs. The gold price has traded as high as $1,881.40 and as low as $1,824.50 while the spot gold price was adding $25, according to Kitco's gold index.

Silver prices closed up $1.74 at $42.43 an ounce. The U.S. dollar index was down 0.42% at $73.94 while the euro was up 0.44% vs. the dollar.

Gold prices have risen more than 6% in just a week as investors gobbled up the metal as protection against slowing global growth from China to Germany to the U.S. A day after Morgan Stanley (HPQ) lowered U.S. growth prospects for 2011 and 2012, gold prices showed no signs of slowing down.

Citigroup (C) also joined the fray, lowering its 2011 U.S. growth forecast from 1.7% to 1.6% and for 2012 to 2.1% from 2.7%. JPMorgan (JPM) went event further, warning that the U.S. will grow just 1% in the fourth quarter from the previously expected 2.5% and just 0.5% in the first quarter of 2012. While growth signs point to the possibility of a double-dip recession, Bank of America (BAC) may slash 10,000 jobs, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal, which is ominous for any attempt at a recovery in employment.

Investors don't really have a lot of options for "safe" places to stash cash as Hewlett-Packard's (HPQ) dismal 2011 outlook kept stocks volatile giving limited respite from Thursday's carnage. The popular gold ETF, SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), added 15 tons Thursday to 1,286, but many experts are now bracing for a pullback after gold's explosive run.

David Banister, chief investment strategist at ActiveTradingPartners.com, said that gold will peak at either $1,862, $1,880 or $1,907 an ounce.

"One of those three is going to peak out this parabolic blow off top rally and be followed by a great opportunity to profit by shorting," he said.

Banister, who thinks that gold's long-term bull run is not yet over, said that peaks are typically followed by 15%-20% corrections, which would take gold to the $1,500 an ounce level.

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