U.S. gold nears $980 on safe-haven demand
NEW YORK, Sept 2 (Reuters) - U.S. gold futures rallied more than 2 percent to end near $980 an ounce on Wednesday, marking the biggest one-day percentage gain since March, boosted by safe-haven demand amid renewed worries about the financial sector.
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* December gold GCZ9 settled up $22, or 2.3 percent, at $978.50 an ounce on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
* Wednesday's rally marked the biggest one-day percentage gain since March 19, when it rallied nearly 8 percent.
* Ranging from $952.50 to $981.40 -- the highest price since June 5.
* Gold driven by safe-haven buying due to concerns about the U.S. financial sector, breaking the positive correlation between gold and equities - James Steel, chief commodities analyst at HSBC.
* On Monday, the U.S. stock market's weakness helped gold, as the S&P 500 index lost more than 2 percent on worries about financial companies.
* Inflow related to the closure of energies and other commodities exchange-traded products (ETP) prompted investors to step up buying in gold - traders.
* Deutsche bank said on Tuesday it would redeem all of its most bullish oil ETPs as the U.S. regulator moves to curb speculation in commodities market. Last week, Barclays said it temporarily suspended new shares creation of its iShares S&P GSCI trust. [ID:nN26609264]
* COMEX estimated final volume at 139,895 lots.
* Gold/oil ratio at 14.36, up from the previous session's 13.45.
* Spot gold XAU= at $976.65 an ounce at 3:07 p.m. EDT (2007 GMT), against $955.85 in late Tuesday dealings in New York.
* London afternoon gold fix XAUFIX= was at $964.75 an ounce.
* December silver SIZ9 finished up 30.5 cents, or 2 percent, at $15.365 an ounce, following gold's rally.
* Silver futures have recently outperformed gold, helped by better economic sentiment. Usually less-liquid silver has the characteristics of both precious and industrial metals.
* Ranged from $14.865 to $15.490 an ounce -- the highest level since June 12.
* COMEX estimated final volume at 30,669 lots.
* Spot silver XAG= at $15.35 an ounce, versus its previous close of $15.04.
* London silver fix XAGFIX= was at $14.91 an ounce.
* October platinum PLV9 ended up $3.30 at $1,230.10 an ounce, as gold's rally helped other precious metals erase initial losses.
* U.S. auto sales released on Tuesday showed signs of stability, helping platinum group metals.
* Uncertain supply due to labor actions in top platinum producer South Africa provided underlying support.
* Spot platinum XPT= at $1,229 an ounce against $1,224.50.
* December palladium PAZ9 closed down 50 cents at $288.95 an ounce as investors took profits.
* Spot palladium XPD= at $284.50 an ounce, against its previous finish of $287.
Close Change Pct 2008 YTD
Chg Close Pct Chg US gold GCZ9 978.50 22.00 2.3 884.30 10.7 US silver SIZ9 15.365 0.305 2.0 11.295 36.0 US platinum PLV9 1230.10 3.30 0.3 941.50 30.7 US palladium PAZ9 288.95 -0.50 -0.2 188.70 53.1 Prices at 3:07 p.m. EDT (1907 GMT) Gold XAU= 976.75 20.90 2.2 878.200 11.2 Silver XAG= 15.35 0.31 2.1 11.30 35.8 Platinum XPT= 1229.00 4.50 0.4 924.50 32.9 Palladium XPD= 284.50 -2.50 -0.9 184.50 54.2 Gold Fix XAUFIX= 964.75 9.75 1.0 836.50 15.3 Silver Fix XAGFIX= 14.910 0.170 1.2 14.760 1.0 Platinum Fix XPTFIX= 1210.00 0.00 0.0 1529.00 -20.9 Palladium Fix XPDFIX= 283.00 0.00 0.0 365.00 -22.5 (Reporting by Frank Tang)