February 3, 2016
Gold Sticks Near 3-Month High as Risk Aversion in Play
(Reuters) - Gold stabilised near a three-month top early on Wednesday, its safe-haven appeal kept intact by concerns over a wobbly global economy that has put share markets under pressure.
Buying from China, the world's top gold consumer, ahead of next week's Lunar New Year holiday, also supported the metal, said Brian Lan, managing director at Singapore-based gold dealer GoldSilver Central.
"There's not a lot of alternatives for China at the moment and funds are now moving to invest in gold," said Lan who sees gold sustaining its strength through the first quarter.
Spot gold was flat at $1,128.12 an ounce by 0216 GMT, not far below Tuesday's peak of $1,130.30, its strongest since Nov. 3.
Among the best performing assets so far this year, gold has gained more than 6 percent after losing 10.4 percent in 2015.
U.S. gold for April delivery was up 0.2 percent at $1,128.90 an ounce.
There may be enough momentum for bullion to rise above $1,160 and test the $1,200 mark, said Lan. Gold last reached $1,200 in June last year.
"A weaker U.S. dollar, lower oil and fragile equity markets are in combination good for gold. We remain bullish as the economic trends do not argue for lower bullion in our view," HSBC analyst James Steel wrote to clients.
Oil stayed near multi-year lows on Wednesday and Asian stocks dropped again as worries over a slowing global economy kept investors away from risky assets.
Global interest rates are likely to go even lower before they rise as financial market volatility and the spectre of deflation raise fresh doubts about central banks' ability to fulfil their mandates, policymakers and economists said.
That should be supportive for gold, an asset that thrives on uncertainty.
Expectations that the Federal Reserve may also go easy on raising interest rates amid the global economic headwinds had helped gold rise the most in a year in January.
Spot silver was flat at $14.30 an ounce and so was palladium at $489.31. Platinum gained 0.7 percent to $856.05 per ounce.