Futures & Commodities

Gold smashes through $1,800 level as investors bolt for safety

Gold bars sit in a vault at the Perth Mint Refinery in Perth, Australia, on August 9, 2018.
Carla Gottgens | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Gold soared past the technical $1,800 threshold on Wednesday, scaling its highest since September 2011, as investors bolted for safety from the novel coronavirus and central banks poured in powerful stimulus to cushion its economic fallout.

Spot gold rallied 0.9% to $1,811.01 per ounce. U.S. gold futures settled 0.6% higher at $1,820.60.

"The pillars of support are the fiscal and monetary stimulus," along with monetary inflows into gold-backed exchange traded funds and other investments, said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures.

"The constant injection of liquidity into the market continues to be the most prominent positive factor, as the dollar has been weakening and supporting commodity prices, but more specifically gold and silver."

Prices earlier in the session vaulted to $1,817.71, the highest level since Sept. 19, 2011, and were holding below the all-time peak of $1,920.30 hit the same month.

The yellow metal has charted solid gains this year as the global economy grapples with the impact of the pandemic, which has infected more than 11.89 million people worldwide.

Travel curbs to prevent the spread of virus have also thwarted grey-market operators in the world's second largest gold consumer, India.

Gold-backed exchange traded funds added 734 tonnes to their holdings in the first half of 2020 - more than in any previous full year, the World Gold Council said on Tuesday.

"We believe the bull market is being further energized by the ongoing fallout from the pandemic and is likely to stay firm," HSBC analysts said in a note.

"The perceived need for a 'safe haven' even in the event of further relaxation of the lockdowns and equity gains is likely to keep gold well supported for the balance of the year."

The dollar index slid, while U.S. stocks rallied as investors weighed hopes for a swift economic recovery against fears about a resurgence of the pandemic.

In other metals, silver jumped 1.9% to $18.64 per ounce. Palladium gained 0.3% to $1,921.99 per ounce, platinum rose 0.9% to $843.30 per ounce.