Gold prices advanced by the most in more than a week as declining global equity markets boosted demand for haven assets.
The MSCI All-Country World Index of shares retreated as much as 1.6 percent today. A Bloomberg customized gauge tracking 20 emerging-market currencies dropped 3 percent in January, the worst start to a year since 2009. Central banks from Turkey to South Africa have raised interest rates in a bid to defend their currencies from weakening. Gold extended gains after a report signaled slower U.S. manufacturing.
Prices “are being boosted by some more safe-haven buying interest amid a still-uncertain market place,” Jim Wyckoff, a senior analyst at Kitco Metals Inc., a research company in Montreal, said in a report. “The past two weeks have seen keener risk aversion in the market.”
Gold futures for April delivery advanced 1.6 percent to settle at $1,259.90 an ounce at 1:41 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the biggest gain since Jan. 23.
The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index decreased to 51.3 in January from 56.5 the prior month, the Tempe, Arizona-based group said today. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.
Bullion climbed 3.1 percent in January, the first gain since August. The U.S. Mint sold 91,500 ounces of gold coins last month, the most since April, joining counterparts from Australia to Europe in reporting higher demand.
Silver futures for delivery in March gained 1.5 percent to $19.409 an ounce on the Comex.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, palladium futures for March delivery lost 0.1 percent to $702.70 an ounce, an eighth straight decline and the longest slump since March 2011. Platinum futures for April delivery gained 0.8 percent to $1,386.60 an ounce, snapping six sessions of losses.