Fear is on the rise and so is the price of gold. Gold futures for August hit a three-week high Thursday, rising to $1,272.70 per ounce, just under a key resistance level of $1,275. The yellow metal is up about 20 percent year to date, and some high-profile investors — like George Soros and Stanley Druckenmiller — have made no secret that they see bad times ahead in the markets and gold is a safer bet. “As far as the geopolitical element, it’s certainly not a chicken little atmosphere,” said Jim Steel, chief commodities analyst at HSBC. “I think there’s enough uncertainty facing the global economy and even some geopolitical tensions to keep buying the gold market.” Investors believing they need to have gold in their portfolio as a hedge against the outcome of easy central bank policies and for other safety reasons are fueling a run in the metal. Some analysts say gold could easily climb above $1,300 an ounce.