Gold gains as metals rally sparks inflation concerns

BENGALURU: Gold prices rose for a fifth straight session, buoyed by a rally in base metals that has fuelled concerns of inflationary pressures, with lingering US-China trade tensions lending further support to the precious metal.

Spot gold had risen 0.3 per cent to $ 1,353.22 per ounce by 0749 GMT, while US gold futures rose 0.2 per cent to $ 1,356.30 per ounce.

“Gold shot up in glittering fashion on haven demand while catching a fillip from the underlying move in commodity prices,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific for OANDA in Singapore.

Inflation fears boost gold, which is seen as a safe-haven against rising prices.

Resources stocks surged in Asia on Thursday as oil prices climbed to their highest in over three years. Aluminium prices reached their highest since 2011, alumina touched an all-time peak and nickel jumped the most in 6.5 years.

“With base metals rallying quite strongly it could lead to higher inflation … Gold could be used as a hedge against inflation risk,” said OCBC analyst Barnabas Gan.

“Another important point to note is that the tariff threats being imposed by both Trump and China has not been taken off the table … If trade tensions escalate further gold prices could go up to $ 1,600 per ounce.”

The Chinese commerce ministry said on Thursday that China is well prepared to handle any negative effects from its trade dispute with the United States, and that the US would be making a miscalculation if it is determined to contain China’s rise.

Spot gold faces resistance at $ 1,356 per ounce, a break above which could lead to a gain to $ 1,365.23, said Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Meanwhile, spot silver prices gained 0.8 per cent to $ 17.29 per ounce, having touched their highest since Feb.1, at $ 17.31, earlier in the session.

Platinum climbed 1.4 per cent to $ 949 per ounce. It touched an over three-week high of $ 953.50 earlier in the day.

Palladium was 1.3 per cent higher at $ 1,048.20 per ounce, after marking its highest since Feb. 27 at $ 1,055.30.