Gold & Silver

Gold hits over 6-month high as investors flock to safety

Reuters BENGALURU | Updated on December 28, 2018 Published on December 28, 2018

Gold is set for a second straight weekly gain with no end in sight for China-US trade tensions and political uncertainty in the US.

Silver heads for best week since August 2017

Gold climbed to a more than six-month high on Friday, as concerns about slowing global economic growth and a partial government shutdown in the US stoked safe-haven demand, although gains in equities capped the upside.

Spot gold had risen by 0.5 per cent to $1,281.08 per ounce as of 0713 GMT, and was set for a second straight weekly gain with no end in sight for China-US trade tensions and political uncertainty in the US.

The precious metal hit its highest level since June 19 at $1,281.39 earlier in the session. US gold futures inched up 0.2 per cent to $1,283.2 per ounce on Friday.

“People see gold as the only safe haven at this point of time,” said Brian Lan, managing director at dealer GoldSilver Central in Singapore, referring to political and economic upheavals such as the Sino-US trade spat and the partial US government shutdown.

The dollar index, a gauge of its value versus six major peers, edged lower, having lost 0.5 per cent overnight, adding to gold's appeal by making it cheaper for holders of other currencies.

Financial markets are expecting US growth to slow next year as a result of rising interest rates. A measure of US consumer confidence posted its sharpest decline in more than three years in December, emphasising the possibility.

In a blow to worsening trade tensions between the world's two biggest economies, US President Donald Trump is considering an executive order that would bar US companies from using telecommunications equipment made by China's Huawei and ZTE.

Gold is often used by investors as a hedge against political and financial uncertainty.

Meanwhile, Asian stocks inched higher after Wall Street ended volatile trade in the green in the previous session, limiting gold's advance.

High volatility in equities has benefited gold, said Vandana Bharti, assistant vice-president of commodity research at SMC Comtrade Ltd, adding that the metal saw good resistance at $1,272 after which it surged.

SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.30 per cent to 787.67 tonnes on Thursday from 790.02 tonnes on Wednesday.

Among other precious metals, silver rose to a near five-month high at $15.342 per ounce and was last up nearly 1 per cent at $15.34. The metal was on track for its best week since Aug 2017.

“It is the end of the year. Investors are looking to rebalance their portfolio, so they allocate a bit (of their funds) to precious metals, even silver,” Lan said.

Platinum rose 0.1 per cent to $796.74 per ounce, while palladium dipped 0.8 per cent to $1,264.90. Palladium has gained about 3 per cent this week.




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Published on December 28, 2018
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