Gold is heading for the biggest weekly increase in more than a month as investors scaled back expectations for further interest-rate increases in the U.S., raising the appeal of the metal as a store of value.
Bullion for immediate delivery traded at $1,237.13 an ounce by 2:27 p.m. in Singapore for a gain of 1.2 percent this week, the most since the period to March 4, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. Prices jumped 1.5 percent Thursday.
Gold posted its best quarterly gain in three decades through March as worries about global growth and market turmoil prompted the Federal Reserve to delay further rises in borrowing costs. Traders see a less than 50 percent chance that the Fed will tighten rates even once this year, benefiting gold as it becomes more competitive against interest-bearing assets. Global stocks are set for a weekly drop.
“Gold had another strong night overnight, owing to the decline in risk assets,” Jordan Eliseo, Sydney-based chief economist at trader Australian Bullion Co., said by e-mail. “It has been re-recognized as a safe haven by the market in the first quarter. The market has a strong base around $1,200, and could well move higher from here.”
• Odds policy makers will move in December have dropped to 48 percent from 58 percent at the beginning of this week, based on Fed-fund futures data.
• On Thursday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said she continues to see some slack remaining in the U.S. labor market even as the economy shows “tremendous progress” after the financial crisis and the worst recession since the Great Depression.
• Bullion of 99.99 percent purity on the Shanghai Gold Exchange gained as much as 1.1 percent to 258.45 yuan a gram ($1,241.10 an ounce).
• Holdings in exchange-traded funds backed by gold climbed 2.1 metric tons to 1,764.2 tons Thursday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
• Gold’s ratio versus silver was 81.3 after dropping to 78.1 on March 18. The gain in the ratio may signal growing concerns about the global economy.
• Spot silver fell 0.1 percent, while palladium gained 0.9 percent and platinum was little changed.