Gold hits a new high as investors seek safety

NEW YORK (AP) ? Gold reached new heights Friday, soaring as high as $1,881 an ounce, as investors anxious about the uncertain global economy snapped up the precious metal.

Stock markets in Europe and Asia continued a slide that began Thursday on disappointing economic news and worries about the strength of European banks.

U.S. stock futures were down as well.

Gold has been on a tear. It’s up more than 25 percent since July 1. It has risen 7 percent this week alone.

Fears of global recession are driving investors away from stocks and into assets viewed as safer. Morgan Stanley on Thursday joined other analysts and cut its global economic growth forecast for this year and next, saying that the U.S. and the 17 countries that use the euro were “hovering dangerously close to a recession.”

In morning trading, gold was up $36, or 2 percent, at $1,858 an ounce.