Gold swings near three-week high as Asian demand seen increasing

Gold fluctuated after advancing to the highest level in three weeks as investors weighed the outlook for increasing physical consumption in Asia against slowing investment demand.

Bullion for immediate delivery gained and lost at least 0.3%, before trading $5.06 higher at $1 243.13 an ounce at 2:18 pm in Singapore. Prices climbed to $1 248.51 yesterday, the highest since December 16. Gold for February delivery rose 0.3% to $1 242 on the Comex after dropping yesterday by more than $30 in about a minute to a low of $1 212.60, spurring a 10- second trading halt.

Gold tumbled 28% last year, the most since 1981, as some investors lost faith in the metal as a store of value amid an equity rally and muted inflation. The Federal Reserve on December 18 said it would reduce its monthly US bond purchases to $75-billion from $85-billion, with minutes of the meeting to be released this week. The premium for immediate delivery in China was $23.15 an ounce today from $15.87 on January 3.

"The Chinese will certainly be looking at taking advantage of these lower prices," said Gavin Wendt, founder and senior resource analyst at Sydney-based Mine Life Pty. "Institutional funds might have one view on gold which is negative but, on the other hand, it seems as though the moms and dads and smaller investors have been buying."

Gold shipments to China from Hong Kong more than doubled to 1 017 metric tonnes in the first 11 months of the year, according to data from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department. China probably overtook India as the world's biggest bullion consumer last year, the World Gold Council said.

Holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest bullion-backed exchange-traded product, held at 794.62 tonnes yesterday, the lowest level since January 2009, according to data on the fund's website. A total of 552.6 tonnes was withdrawn last year.

Silver for immediate delivery gained 0.2% to $20.22 an ounce, rising for a fourth day. Platinum advanced 0.2 % to $1,420.50 an ounce. Palladium lost 0.1% to $737.70 an ounce after touching $739.55, the highest level since December 11. – Bloomberg

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertisting

Ndabeni-Abrahams lockdown debacle: What we know

The minister has to answer to the president after a picture was posted of her apparently breaking lockdown rules

Covid-19 grounds Nigeria’s medical tourists

The country’s elites, including the president, travelled abroad for treatment but now they must use the country’s neglected health system

Nehawu launches urgent court bid over protective gear for health...

The health workers’ union says the government has rebuffed its attempts to meet about mitigating risks to workers

Stay at home, Cyril said. But what about the homeless?

In Tshwane, forcing homeless people off the street resulted in chaos and the abuse of a vulnerable population. In Durban, a smooth, well-planned operation fared far better

Press Releases

Everyone’s talking about it. Even Kentucky

Earlier this year South African fried chicken fast-food chain, Chicken Licken®, launched a campaign for their wallet-friendly EasyBucks® meals, based on the idea of ‘Everyone’s talking about it.’

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world