Futures & Commodities

Gold hits new record, posts best month since 2016

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This photo shows gold bars stacked in rows.
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Gold rose on Friday to hit a new all-time high, as a sliding dollar and dire economic numbers from far and wide sparked a rush to safety in bullion. It was gold's best month since February 2016, and its fifth straight positive month.

Silver climbed 4.2% to $24.34 per ounce, on course for a monthly rise of about 33%, its largest on records going back to 1982, supported by investment and industrial demand.

Spot gold gained 0.58% to trade at $1,970.81 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures settled 1% higher at $1,985.9, after earlier breaking above $2,000 for the first time on record.

"The macro environment still remains very positive and prices continue to track real rates ... extreme weakness in the dollar has helped buoy gold prices further," said Standard Chartered analyst Suki Cooper.

The dollar was on track for its biggest monthly drop in almost a decade.

Data showed the U.S. economy suffered its harshest blow since the Great Depression in the second quarter due to the pandemic, while investors also geared up for an uncertain political situation in the country.

Safe-haven bullion has gained nearly 30% so far this year, propelled by low interest rates globally and widespread stimulus from central banks adding to support for the metal considered a refuge from inflation and currency debasement.

"With policy rates already at or even below the zero bound, support to gold prices will increasingly have to come from higher inflation, in our view," said BofA Global Research, which expects gold to hit $3,000 per ounce in the coming 18 months.

Elsewhere, platinum gained 0.4% to trade at $916.3 per ounce, and looked to post its biggest monthly gain since January 2017.

Palladium fell 0.04% to trade at $2,134.10 per ounce, but was set for a more than 8% monthly rise, its first in five.