Spot gold struck a record of $US1836.46 an ounce, and was recently trading up 0.7 per cent at $US1836.20.

It was headed for a 5-per cent weekly rise.

US gold also climbed to an all-time high at $US1839.8, before trading up about a per cent at $US1839.5.

Latest data showed a sharp drop in the factory activity in the US Mid-Atlantic region and unexpected slump in home resales, fuelling worries that the growth in the world's largest economy has stalled.

Worries about the health of European banks added to the nervousness in the financial markets, which has driven investors to safe-haven assets such as gold and the US dollar.

Holdings in the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, rose by more than 1 per cent on the day to a one-week high of 1286.825 tonnes by Aug. 18.

The most-active gold futures contract on Tokyo Commodity Exchange for June 2012 delivery also rose to an all-time high, at 4541 yen per gram.

Shayne Heffernan

Shayne Heffernan oversees the management of funds for institutions and high net worth individuals.

Shayne Heffernan holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.