Gold rose to trade near a two-month high on increased haven demand as further signs of slowing growth in China spurred losses in equities.
Bullion for immediate delivery advanced as much as 0.4 percent to $1,108.65 an ounce and traded at $1,104.77 at 11:36 a.m. in Singapore, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. The metal gained to $1,113.08 on Friday, the highest level since Nov. 4, before ending lower after data showed U.S. payrolls rose more than expected in December.
The metal posted the biggest weekly gain since August last week as escalating concerns about China’s outlook, a rout in equities and increased geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and North Korea stoked investors’ aversion to risk. Asian equities declinedon Monday as muted Chinese inflation data was taken as further evidence of the slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy.
“Gold has had a great start to 2016, with equity-market weakness contributing to safe-haven demand,” Jordan Eliseo, chief economist at trader Australian Bullion Co. in Sydney, said by e-mail. “The fact it held $1,100 despite the strong payrolls print was a sign of strength. Short-covering could see this rally push higher across the next few days.”
U.S. employers added 292,000 workers in December, exceeding the highest estimate in a Bloomberg survey and putting the gain for all of 2015 at 2.65 million, a Labor Department report showed on Friday. The data backed the case for the Federal Reserve to continue raising interest rates this year, boosting the dollar and undermining gold’s rally.
Still, investors bought the most through bullion-backed funds in three weeks on Friday to post the first back-to-back increase since Dec. 10, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. The holdings climbed 9.1 metric tons to 1,475.3 tons on Friday after rising 8.1 tons the day before.
Spot silver gained 0.4 percent, while platinum fell 0.7 percent. Palladium slumped as much as 1.9 percent to $485.74 an ounce, near the lowest level since 2010.