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Gold climbs as investors seek refuge from volatility

LONDON, January 13, 2015

Gold hit a 12-week high on Tuesday as investors sought refuge from turbulence in stock and currency markets after crude oil prices slid to a near six-year low.

The gold price peaked at $1,243.60, its highest since mid-October, before retreating as European stocks turned higher and the dollar recovered from an early low. It remained elevated, however, as oil prices languished.

Spot gold was up 0.5 per cent at $1,238.90 an ounce at 1425 GMT, while US gold futures for February delivery were up $6.50 an ounce at $1,239.30.

Gold has risen nearly 5 per cent this month as equities, which were boosted last year by hopes that the US economy was on the road to recovery, have come under pressure. Strength in stocks helped to push down gold prices by 1.5 per cent in 2014.

European stocks swung into positive territory, having fallen in early trade after a fresh drop in oil prices hit energy stocks. Brent crude oil futures slid 4 per cent to their lowest in almost six years.

"The concerns about Europe and huge uncertainty over what this oil price drop means for the global economy mean we have seen some safe-haven buying of gold," Caroline Bain, an analyst at Capital Economics, said. "Gold and the dollar are usually inversely correlated, but the same sort of risk-off (environment) is perhaps benefiting them both at this time."

The dollar reversed earlier losses against the safe-haven yen after European stocks moved higher and Wall Street futures edged up.

The US currency had skidded to its lowest level in a month against the yen as Treasury yields fell because of increased demand for safe-haven assets against the backdrop of plunging oil prices.

"That gold can rally despite the dollar being relatively strong says something of the uncertainty regarding the US economy," Mitsubishi analyst Jonathan Butler said.

Silver was up 3.3 per cent at $17.08 an ounce while platinum returned to parity with gold after spending most of the past 18 months at a premium to the yellow metal.

Spot platinum was up 0.3 per cent at $1,241.24 an ounce, while spot palladium was 1.1 per cent higher at $814.97 an ounce.

"Gold has been leading the move higher so far in 2015 and the rest of the precious metals have mostly been followers," UBS said in a note.-Reuters




Tags: Gold | investors | Volatility |

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