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Silver jumps to 2013 high, gold nears record on virus concerns

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Silver jumped to the highest in almost seven years and gold continued its march toward a record on expectations more stimulus is needed to help the global economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

[SINGAPORE] Silver jumped to the highest in almost seven years and gold continued its march toward a record on expectations more stimulus is needed to help the global economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Investors have flocked to the precious metals on surging demand for havens amid a resurgence in virus cases, slowing growth and negative real interest rates in the US. After the success of a European rescue package this week, focus turns to negotiations between Republicans and Democrats on legislation to prop up the hobbled American economy.

Holdings in exchange-traded funds backed by the metals are at an all-time high. Silver, used in manufactured products ranging from solar panels to electronics, is getting an added boost from supply concerns and bets on a rebound in industrial demand.

"Like gold, silver has benefited this year from safe haven demand and falling long term US real yields," Vivek Dhar, an analyst at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, said in a note. "Low yields ultimately boost the appeal of non-interest bearing assets like precious metals. A sustained rally in silver can continue, particularly when demand hopes and supply concerns are added to the mix."

Spot silver climbed as much as 6 per cent to US$22.5821 an ounce, the highest since 2013, and traded at US$22.533 at 8.19am in Singapore. Futures on the Comex jumped as much as 6.5 per cent.

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Gold for immediate delivery rose as much as 0.3 per cent to US$1,847.52 an ounce, the highest since September 2011, and is less than US$100 away from the all-time high of US$1,921.17 set that year.

"Silver is surging, and we think it is likely to remain strong," James Steel, chief precious metals analyst at HSBC Securities (USA), said in a note. "Some investors who may not have participated fully in the gold rally could find silver attractive. We believe this is happening and may sustain silver at higher prices still."

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