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Gold registers best week since August after rally gathers pace

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Gold registered its biggest weekly advance in more than four months, with a decline in the US dollar boosting demand for the metal as an alternative asset.

[NEW YORK] Gold registered its biggest weekly advance in more than four months, with a decline in the US dollar boosting demand for the metal as an alternative asset.

The greenback slipped versus all of its Group-of-10 peers, on track to erase its 2019 gains. The metal, which has gained 18 per cent this year, is getting help from easier monetary policy across the world's leading economies and sustained buying from exchange-traded funds and central banks.

Gold topped US$1,500 an ounce this week on the way to its best year since 2010, helped by bets that simmering trade and geopolitical tensions will spur further gains for the metal in 2020. With the Federal Reserve expected to keep interest rates steady next year following three reductions in 2019, most traders and analysts in a weekly Bloomberg survey were bullish.

"Gold continues in its new trading range of US$1,480-US$1,530, supported by investors looking into next year's upcoming political, economic and trade and tariff headlines," George Gero, a managing director at RBC Wealth Management, said in an emailed note.

Gold futures for February delivery rose 0.2 per cent to settle at US$1,518.10 an ounce at 1.30pm on the Comex in New York, after touching US$1,519.90, the highest since Oct 25. Prices are up 2.5 per cent this week, the biggest weekly gain since Aug 9.

Spot gold also headed for the biggest weekly gain since August.

Still, trading volumes are low, "warning that the magnitude of these moves might owe more to illiquidity than conviction," DailyFX strategist Ilya Spivak said. "It will be interesting to see what happens as overall market participation rebuilds in January."

In other precious metals, Comex silver slipped, while on the New York Mercantile Exchange platinum futures fell and palladium rose. All three posted weekly gains.

BLOOMBERG