Gold climbed for a third day, poised for a second monthly advance, and holdings in exchange-traded products rose to an all-time high as investors sought to protect their wealth against debt risks in Europe and the U.S.
Bullion for immediate delivery gained as much as 0.7 percent to $1,727.50 an ounce, the highest price since Nov. 18, and traded at $1,721.88 at 1:53 p.m. in Singapore. The metal is 0.4 percent higher this month and is headed for its 11th annual advance. Futures for delivery in February advanced 0.4 percent to $1,725.40 an ounce on the Comex in New York.
Holdings in exchange-traded products backed by the precious metal increased 0.1 percent to 2,354.476 metric tons yesterday, data compiled by Bloomberg show. They have increased 3.7 percent this month, the most since July.
“Bullion trades higher as the euro-zone crisis deepens,” HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. analyst James Steel said in a note. “This may indicate safe-haven buying is beginning to outweigh currency-led trading.”
Standard & Poor’s yesterday cut credit ratings for lenders including Bank of America Corp., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc., sending equities lower. In Europe, efforts to expand the region’s bailout fund fell short of a 1 trillion euros target ($1.3 trillion) even as policy makers approved enhancements to the European Financial Stability Facility.
Newmont Mining Corp., the largest U.S. gold producer, suspended a $4.8 billion gold project in Peru after anti-mining protests left at least 17 wounded and two arrested, the company said yesterday. Newmont said it will seek talks with the government and communities opposing the mine.
While mine production is increasing, the new supply is insufficient to keep pace with the combined effects of investment demand and central bank buying, Morgan Stanley analysts led by Hussein Allidina wrote in a report.
Central banks, which turned net buyers for the first time in a generation last year, will continue to be net purchasers this year, according to the World Gold Council.
Cash silver dropped 0.3 percent to $31.8625 an ounce, spot platinum declined 0.3 percent to $1,531.25 an ounce and palladium fell 0.6 percent to $582 an ounce.
To contact the reporter on this story: Glenys Sim in Singapore at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at email@example.com