Gold rallies to eight-month high, platinum claws back

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The gold price hit $US1156 per ounce as the dollar eased. Photo: Jim Rice

Gold rallied more than 2 per cent on Thursday for the biggest one-day gain in almost eight months as a weak US dollar sparked short covering while platinum recovered from a four-day rout even as car demand woes lingered.

In its best daily performance since late January, gold touched a one-month high of $US1156 per ounce as the dollar eased after data showed US durable goods fell 2 per cent in August.

The data prompted short covering and safe-haven bids amid worries about global economic growth, which could delay the tightening of US monetary policy. US equities came under pressure.

Investors will monitor a speech by Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen on Friday for clues on when the US central bank will begin to raise benchmark interest rates.

“Gold [is] seeing better prices with short covering, buying back ahead of option expiration tonight,” said RBC Wealth Management adviser George Gero.

Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose for a second straight session, providing some support for prices. The fund added 0.60 tonne on Wednesday, bringing total holdings to 676.40 tonnes.

Spot gold prices were up 2 per cent at $US1153.4 an ounce, while the US gold futures contract for December delivery settled up 2 per cent at $US1153.80 an ounce.

Silver rose 2.4 per cent to $US15.16 an ounce.

Platinum clawed back some ground lost from a four-day rout on fears about demand from the car sector following the Volkswagen emissions scandal. Platinum is used in diesel catalysts to clean up exhaust emissions.

Spot platinum was up 2.3 per cent at $US958 an ounce, after losing about 5 percent in the past four sessions. The metal remained within sight of a 6-½-year-low of $US924.50 hit on Wednesday.

“In the short term, there may be more downside in platinum as more details about the VW situation get uncovered … $US900 could be tested, maybe a little bit lower,” ABN Amro analyst Georgette Boele said.

Palladium, which is predominantly used in gasoline catalysts, retreated from an earlier mid-July high, and was up 1.12 per cent at $US658.5 an ounce. Platinum had some support from Japanese traders returning from a three-day holiday.

“The Japanese came in aggressively on the bid this morning, taking the white metal more than $US20 higher,” said MKS Group trader Jason Cerisola.

Spot palladium logged a near 7 per cent jump in the previous session.

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