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[MANILA] Gold jumped as much as 8 per cent to its highest in more than two years on Friday, after Britons shocked markets by voting to leave the European Union, driving investors toward safe-haven assets such as bullion.
The precious metal posted the biggest rally since the 2008 global financial crisis, tracking other safe havens, such as bonds, as risky assets were dumped from stocks to sterling.
Britain has voted to leave the European Union, results from Thursday's referendum showed, an outcome that sets the country on an uncertain path and deals the largest setback to European efforts to forge greater unity since World War Two.
Spot gold was up 5.9 per cent at US$1,329.29 an ounce by 0453 GMT, after rising as high as US$1,358.20, the strongest since March 2014.
Gold soared nearly 11 per cent on Sept 17, 2008.
Britain would be the first country to leave the European Union, the biggest blow to the 28-nation bloc since its foundation. Some analysts say that could tip Europe back into a recession, piling more pressure on the global economy, and burnishing the appetite for gold.
"It's certainly going to retard the kind of recovery momentum we've seen shaping up in Europe and for the UK it will probably negate a lot of the stimulus effects," said Vishnu Varathan, a senior economist at Mizuho Bank.
US gold for August delivery rose 5.9 per cent to US$1,337.10.
Gold in terms of sterling and in euro traded at the highest since April, 2013.
In China, gold on the Shanghai Futures Exchange climbed by more than 3 per cent. Trading volumes soared nearly three times normal levels, said Richard Xu, fund manager at HuaAn Asset Management, China's top gold exchange-traded fund.
Brexit would "have repercussions not only on the currency markets but also on the political landscapes and that will have a lasting impact on economic growth assumptions," said Mr Xu, adding gold could hit around US$1,600.
Spot silver was up 2.7 per cent at US$17.72 an ounce.
Platinum was up 1.8 per cent at US$977.40 and palladium dropped 3 per cent to US$547.