Concerns about China’s economy and tensions in the Middle East push investors into safe-haven assets on Friday. Gold prices are continuing to climb.
The most-actively traded U.S. contract increased 0.1% to $1,344.50 a troy ounce. The rise accelerated after the National Bureau of Statistics released figures showing that Chinese industrial production grew at its slowest pace in 17 years in May. This was adding to fears that Beijing’s efforts to stimulate growth are faltering in the face of trade frictions with the U.S.
Friday’s move showed a strong run for gold. It notched its 12th daily rise in 13 trading days as investors bet the slowdown in the world economy was hurting growth in the U.S.
The metal becomes more attractive to investors when yields on interest-paying assets like government bonds fall. It has rallied 5% this year.
As gold is priced in dollars and becomes more expensive to other currency holders, a stronger dollar counteracts some of the appeals. The WSJ Dollar Index was up 0.4% Friday.
The latest leg in the rally came as stock markets slipped in Europe and Asia and government bond yields fell across the board. The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasurys slipped to 2.093% on Friday, from 2.096% on Thursday. Yields fall as bond prices rise.
Copper and other industrial metals, which are highly sensitive to Chinese demand, declined while oil prices rose in response to the attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday. The Swiss franc and Japanese yen, also seen as havens, both rose.
Money managers had ramped up bets on gold since late April when they were mostly wagering that its price would fall.
Analysts believe gold could have further to go as long as tensions between the U.S. and China are running high. A precious metal strategist, Joni Teves, states that gold is holding well. It will continue to be well supported as long as trade tensions are in the background.