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[SINGAPORE] Gold climbed for a fourth day, advancing to the highest level in almost two weeks, after China announced a second interest rate cut in three months and the US reported a slower pace of economic expansion than estimated.
Bullion for immediate delivery rose as much as 0.8 per cent to US$1,223.29 an ounce, the highest since Feb 17, before trading at US$1,221.98 by 11:03 am in Singapore, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. A fourth day of gains would be the longest run since Oct 9. Prices climbed 0.9 per cent last week for the first weekly increase in five.
The People's Bank of China lowered the benchmark lending and deposit rates by a quarter percentage point on Saturday. A day later, a factory gauge for February signaled contraction for a second month, underscoring the need for looser policy. The US grew at a 2.2 per cent annualized rate, down from an estimate of 2.6 per cent, the Commerce Department said on Friday.
"The slowdown in China remains a huge risk to global growth, supporting demand for gold," Sun Yonggang, a macroeconomic strategist at Everbright Futures Co in Shanghai, said by phone on Monday. "Gold received a boost from the latest US data, which suggests that growth may not be as strong as perceived." The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index added 0.2 per cent to 1,174.63. The currency rose 0.4 per cent against 10 major peers in February, the least since a cycle of appreciation that began in July, amid reports of sluggish inflation and the downward revision of growth. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signaled last week that an interest-rate increase isn't imminent.
Bullion for April delivery advanced as much as 0.8 per cent to US$1,223 an ounce on the Comex in New York, the highest level for a most-active contract since Feb 17, before trading at US$1,222.60.
Silver for immediate delivery rose 1.1 per cent to US$16.7759 an ounce, extending last week's 2.2 per cent increase. Spot platinum added as much as 0.4 per cent to US$1,193.88 an ounce, the highest since Feb 17. Palladium jumped 0.4 per cent to US$820.63 an ounce, the highest since Dec 11.