Gold Regains Premium to Platinum as Swiss Move Rattles Investors

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Gold Regains Premium to Platinum as Swiss Move Rattles Investors
A Swiss refined one kilogram gold bar at Gold Investments Ltd. bullion dealers in London. An ounce of bullion bought as much as 1.0129 ounces of platinum in London, the most since April 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Switzerland’s surprise move to end the cap on the franc has pushed gold above platinum by the most in almost two years.

Gold reached a four-month high earlier Monday in London, before erasing gains. The Swiss National Bank decided on Jan. 15 to let the currency trade freely against the euro. Investors boosted gold holdings by the most in three years at the end of last week.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty, risk aversion, and seeking a refuge,” Robin Bhar, an analyst at Societe Generale SA in London, said by phone. “These are the very ingredients that gold thrives on.”

Gold for immediate delivery lost 0.6 percent to $1,273.03 an ounce by 3:57 p.m. in London. Platinum retreated 0.3 percent to $1,263.21. U.S. financial markets are closed for Martin Luther King Day.

An ounce of bullion bought as much as 1.0129 ounces of platinum in London, the most since April 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The rally in bullion since late December has encouraged investors to increase holdings of the metal. About 26.2 metric tons was bought through exchange-traded products in two days through Jan. 16, the most since 2011, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The Swiss franc’s appeal as a safe asset was hurt after the SNB’s decision last week, leaving gold as one of a few other assets that investors seek as a store of wealth, Bhar said. Silver and gold are the best-performing raw materials this year among 22 tracked by the Bloomberg Commodity Index.

Silver for immediate delivery declined 0.6 percent to $17.6753 an ounce, reversing an earlier advance to $18.0075, the highest since Sept. 19. Prices climbed the most since August 2013 last week. Palladium rose 0.4 percent to $761 an ounce.

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