[h=1]Gold price hits record high[/h]Fears over inflation and European debt drive price of gold to $1,587 an ounce Graeme Wearden guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 13 July 2011 18.04 BST Investors have retreated to the safe haven of gold as concern about the eurozone rumble on. Photograph: Getty The gold price reached record highs on Wednesday as investors scrambled for safe havens in the face of Europe's escalating debt crisis. Fears of higher inflation also helped to push up the precious metal by 1.2%. It hit its highest point of $1,587.46 per ounce after Ben Bernanke, chairman of the US Federal Reserve, hinted at further efforts to stimulate the American economy. The gold price has now posted its eighth consecutive daily rise, gaining $100 per ounce since the start of July. Other precious metals also rallied, with silver gaining more than 5% to $38.30 per ounce. Analysts said that gold was benefitting from fears that Spain and Italy will become the next members of the eurozone to need financial help. "With European sovereign debt fears intensifying again, [and] little clarity on what eurozone officials intend to do next ... gold has been a beneficiary," said UBS analyst Edel Tully in a research note. "This should, in theory, be gold's time to shine as a safe haven and as an alternative currency." Gold has more than doubled since December 2008, and Bank of America-Merrill Lynch forecast on Wednesday that it would continue to rise for the next five years. Bernanke told the House of Representatives financial services committee that the strength of gold reflected "global uncertainties" and worries that the global economy faced a major crisis. Under questioning, Bernanke also said "tradition" dictated that most central banks held large quantities of gold bullion in reserve, rather than another asset such as diamonds.