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Sept 22 (Reuters) - Gold hit a record high at $1,293.35 an
ounce early on Wednesday, boosted by demand from investors for a
store of value after the Federal Reserve signalled a willingness
to further stimulate the U.S. economy.

Any further quantitative easing by the Fed could further
undermine the ailing U.S. dollar, and may lead to
gold-supportive inflation further down the line, analysts said.

Following are key dates in gold's trading history since the
early 1970s:

* August 1971 - U.S. President Richard Nixon takes the
dollar off the gold standard, which had been in place with minor
modifications since the Bretton Woods Agreement of 1944 fixed
the conversion rate for one Troy ounce of gold at $35.

* August 1972 - The United States devalues the dollar to $38
per ounce of gold.

* March 1973 - Most major countries adopt floating exchange
rate system.

* January 1980 - Gold hits record high at $850 per ounce.
High inflation because of strong oil prices, Soviet intervention
in Afghanistan and the impact of the Iranian revolution prompt
investors to move into the metal.

* August 1999 - Gold falls to a low at $251.70 on worries
about central banks reducing reserves of gold bullion and mining
companies selling gold in forward markets to protect against
falling prices.

* October 1999 - Gold reaches a two-year high at $338 after
agreement to limit gold sales by 15 European central banks.
Market sentiment towards gold begins to turn more positive.

* February 2003 - Gold reaches a 4-�� year high on safe-haven
buying in the run-up to war with Iraq.

* December 2003-January 2004 - Gold breaks above $400,
reaching levels last traded in 1988. Investors increasingly buy
gold as risk insurance for portfolios.

* November 2005 - Spot gold breaches $500 for the first time
since December 1987, when spot hit $502.97.

* April 11, 2006 - Gold prices surpass $600, the highest
point since December 1980, with funds and investors pouring
money into commodities on a weak dollar, firm oil prices and
geopolitical worries.

* May 12, 2006 - Gold prices peak at $730 an ounce with
funds and investors pouring money into commodities on a weak
dollar, firm oil prices and political tensions over Iran's
nuclear ambitions.

* June 14, 2006 - Gold falls 26 percent to $543 from its
26-year peak after investors and speculators sell out of
commodity positions.

* Nov. 7, 2007 - Spot gold hits a 28-year high of $845.40 an
ounce.

* March 13, 2008 - Benchmark gold contract trades over
$1,000 for the first time in U.S. futures market.

* March 17, 2008 - Spot gold hits an all-time high of
$1,030.80 an ounce. U.S. gold futures touch record peak of
$1,033.90.

* Sept. 17, 2008 - Spot gold rises by nearly $90 an ounce, a
record one-day gain, as investors seek safety amid turmoil on
the equity markets.

* Jan-March 2009 - Gold-backed exchange-traded funds report
record inflows in the first quarter as financial sector
insecurity spurs safe-haven buying. Holdings of the largest, the
SPDR Gold Trust, rise 45 percent to 1,127.44 tonnes.

* Feb. 20, 2009 - Gold rises back above $1,000 an ounce to a
peak of $1,005.40 as investors buy bullion as a safe store of
value as major economies face recession and equity markets
tumble.

* April 24, 2009 - China announces it has raised its gold
reserves by three quarters since 2003 and now holds 1,054 tonnes
of the precious metal, boosting expectations it may add further
to its reserves.

* Aug. 7, 2009 - European central banks opt to renew their
earlier agreement to limit gold sales over a five-year period,
setting the sales cap at 400 tonnes a year.

* Sept. 8, 2009 - Gold breaks back through $1,000 an ounce
for the first time since February 2009 on dollar weakness and
concerns over the sustainability of the economic recovery.

* Dec. 1, 2009 - Gold climbs above $1,200 an ounce for the
first time as the dollar drops.

* Dec. 3, 2009 - Gold hits record high at $1,226.10 an
ounce, with dollar weakness and expectations for central banks
to diversify reserves into gold driving prices higher.

* May 11, 2010 - Gold reaches fresh record high above $1,230
an ounce as fears over the contagion of debt issues in the euro
zone fuel safe-haven buying.

* June 21, 2010 - Gold jumps to a new high at $1,264.90 an
ounce as underlying fears over financial market stability and
sovereign risk combine with dollar weakness to push the metal
through resistance at its previous high.

* Sept 14, 2010 - Gold climbs back to record highs, this
time at $1,274.75 as global markets reflect renewed uncertainty
on the economic outlook.

* Sept 16-21, 2010 - Gold hits record highs for five
succcessive sessions, peaking at $1,293.35, as investors flock
to bullion after the Fed signals it may consider further
quantitative easing, weakening the dollar and raising fears over
future inflation.
(Compiled by Atul Prakash and Jan Harvey; Editing by Veronica
Brown)