Gold hovers near all-time peak

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    Gold closed higher again on Friday, hovering near its all time peak, as a sliding dollar and dire economic numbers from far and wide sparked a rush to safety in bullion, which posted its biggest monthly gain since February 2016.

    Silver climbed 2.3 percent to $24.08 per ounce, on course for a monthly rise of about 33 percent, its largest on records going back to 1982, supported by investment and industrial demand.

    Spot gold gained 0.6 percent to $1,971.83 per ounce while US gold futures settled 1 percent higher at $1,985.9.

    Prices hit a record $1,980.57 on Tuesday and are up over 10 percent so far this month.

    “The macro environment still remains very positive and prices continue to track real rates … extreme weakness in the dollar has helped buoy gold prices further,” said Standard Chartered analyst Suki Cooper.

    The dollar was on track for its biggest monthly drop in almost a decade. Data showed the US economy suffered its harshest blow since the Great Depression in the second quarter due to the pandemic, while investors also geared up for an uncertain political situation in the country.

    Safe-haven bullion has gained nearly 30 percent so far this year, propelled by low interest rates globally and widespread stimulus from central banks adding to support for the metal considered a refuge from inflation and currency debasement.

    “With policy rates already at or even below the zero bound, support to gold prices will increasingly have to come from higher inflation, in our view,” said BofA Global Research, which expects gold to hit $3,000 per ounce in the coming 18 months.

    Elsewhere, platinum eased 0.5 percent to $898.66 per ounce, but looked to post its biggest monthly gain since January 2017.

    Palladium rose 0.4 percent to $2,090.60 and was set for a more than 8 percent monthly rise, its first in five. — Reuters