Gold settled about 2 percent higher at a six-month peak on Wednesday, as fears of more corporate defaults in China and the geopolitical tug-of-war between Russia, Ukraine and the West hurt equity markets, boosting the metal's appeal as an insurance against risk.
"The increase in Asian physical gold demand over the past 10 years has been largely due to the huge rise in wealth in that region, so you would think anything that disrupts growth would negatively affect gold demand," Macquarie analyst Matthew Turner said.
"However, until we see that an element of Western safe-haven buying because of the knock-on effect it is having on equities and currencies seems to be the dominant driver."
U.S. gold futures for April delivery settled 1.8 percent higher at $1,370.50 an ounce, their loftiest close since September.
Spot gold was last up 1.3 percent at $1,367 an ounce.