South Africa’s gold mining index climbed the most in four months as the price of the metal rose after the U.S. Federal Reserve extended a pledge to keep interest rates near zero.
The FTSE/JSE Africa Gold Mining Index (JGOLD) climbed 4.8 percent, its biggest gain since Sept. 19, as of 1:09 p.m. in Johannesburg. AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. (ANG), Africa’s biggest producer of the metal, rose 4.5 percent. Gold Fields Ltd. (GFI), the world’s fourth-biggest gold producer, surged 4.4 percent.
Gold rose as much as 0.5 percent to $1,718.57, the highest since Dec. 9, after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the Fed is considering additional asset purchases to boost growth after pledging to keep interest rates low through at least late 2014.
“People are moving into the equities as the gold price starts to move up,” David Davis, a gold analyst at SBG Securities, said by telephone from Johannesburg.
Global gold miners including Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX), Newmont Mining Corp. and Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) outpaced gains by South Africa’s gold miners as the rand strengthened against the U.S. dollar, reducing the price of gold in rand terms, Davis said.
Disappointing fourth-quarter economic growth in the U.K. also helped push gold higher, he said.
Gross domestic product fell 0.2 percent from the third quarter, when it increased 0.6 percent, the Office for National Statistics said in London yesterday. The median forecast of 33 forecasts in a Bloomberg survey was for a drop of 0.1 percent.
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