Gold Surges as Flight to Safety Spurs Longest Run Since October

By Glenys Sim, Bloomberg Gold climbed for a third day to head for the longest run of gains since October as slumping equity markets and concern that Greece may quit the euro area spurred demand for a haven. Silver and palladium rose. Bullion for immediate delivery advanced as much as 0.6 percent to $1,212.01 an ounce, the highest level since Dec. 18, and traded at $1,208.70 at 3:40 p.m. in Singapore, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. The metal has rebounded from a one-month low of $1,168.34 on Jan. 2 and a three-day, 2.3 percent rise would be the biggest such increase since Dec. 30. Asian stocks extended a global rout today after oil slid below $50 a barrel for the first time since 2009. The euro traded near an almost nine-year low as campaigning began in Greece for a Jan. 25 election that Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said may lead to an exit from the 19-member region should the opposition Syriza party win. Assets in the SPDR Gold Trust expanded yesterday for the first time in two weeks, while U.S. coin sales jumped and trading volumes in China increased. “Gold benefits from an increase in risk aversion,” said Mark To, head of research at Wing Fung Financial Group, a trader and refiner in Hong Kong. “With crude oil below $50 and uncertainty building around Greece, equity markets have been dragged lower, triggering a flight to safety.” Gold priced in euros rose to the highest level since September 2013, after advancing 12 percent last year. European policy makers are focused on the fate of the country that triggered the region’s sovereign-debt crisis in 2009 at a time when the central bank moves closer to large-scale government-bond purchases to fight deflation and revive growth. U.S. Mint The U.S. Mint sold 42,000 ounces of gold coins yesterday compared with 18,000 ounces in all of December. In China, the largest consumer, volumes for the benchmark spot contract rose yesterday to the highest level in a week. Gold for February delivery rose as much as 0.7 percent to $1,211.90 an ounce on the Comex, the highest price since Dec. 18, and was at $1,208.90. Net-long positions increased for the first week in three in the period ended Dec. 30. Silver for immediate delivery added as much as 1 percent to $16.3507 an ounce and traded at $16.288, advancing for a third day. Spot platinum climbed 0.2 percent to $1,214.75 an ounce. Palladium gained 0.6 percent to $798.75 an ounce, halting a six-day decline that was the longest slump since February.

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