December 31, 2019 / 4:41 PM / 2 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold gains, set for biggest yearly rise since 2010

 (New throughout, updates prices, market activity and comments)
    * Dollar dips for fourth session, lifts bullion
    * Gold rally likely to pour into 2020 -analyst
    * Platinum set for best year since 2009
    * GRAPHIC-2019 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl

    By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri
    Dec 31 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Tuesday to a
three-month high as the dollar weakened, with the precious metal
set for its biggest annual rise in nearly a decade in 2019, when
the U.S.-China trade war had investors seeking safe harbors from
a possible recession.
    Gold was up 4% for December, on track for its biggest
monthly rise since August.
    Spot gold        rose 0.3% to $1,519.41 per ounce as of 1:37
p.m. ET (1837 GMT), having earlier hit a three-month high of
$1,525.20.
    U.S. gold futures        settled up 0.3% at $1,523.10 an
ounce.
    "With gold starting to break out, you have a lot of traders
coming in. They think this is the next leg up," said Michael
Matousek, head trader at U.S. Global Investors.
    "This rally in gold and gold-related equities is just
starting to ramp up ... It consolidated for six years and it's
just starting to break out again."
    Gold prices have risen over 18% in 2019, set for their
biggest yearly rise since 2010. The long-running U.S.-China
trade war caused fears of a global economic slowdown, prompting
major central banks to resort to quantitative easing, an
environment supportive of gold.
    U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that Phase 1 of
the trade deal would be signed on Jan. 15             , though
investors remain cautious, awaiting details of the agreement.
    "The explosive (gold) rally witnessed in recent weeks will
most likely extend into 2020 despite easing trade tensions
between the world's two largest economies," said FXTM analyst
Lukman Otunuga
    "A lingering sense of caution over trade developments and
lack of details on the Phase 1 deal may also stimulate appetite
for gold during Q1 of 2020."
    Supporting gold in the session was a weaker U.S. dollar
      , which dipped for a fourth session.       
    Elsewhere, palladium        has soared more than 53% in
2019, marking it one of the top performers in commodity assets
for the year.
    The metal rose 1.6% this session to $1,938 an ounce and has
gained about 5% in December.
    Palladium's rally was triggered by concerns that its supply
is limited as demand mounts, lifting it to nearly $2,000 an
ounce.
    Platinum        was up 0.5% at $962.50, having added almost
7% in the month. The metal was en route to its best years since
2009. 
    Silver        fell 0.4% to $17.85 an ounce, but added 15% in
2019.

    
 (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri in Bengaluru; Editing
by Steve Orlofsky and David Gregorio)
  
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