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Gold miners are 'laughing' through the best rally in a decade

DECEMBER'S cheer is carrying into 2019 for gold-mining companies.

New York

DECEMBER'S cheer is carrying into 2019 for gold-mining companies.

A gauge of mining shares is extending gains after its best December since the financial crisis as investors flee to haven assets amid a slump in the broader equities market and a US government shutdown.

The BI Global Senior Gold Valuation Peers jumped as much as 2 per cent on Thursday to the highest since May, with bullion set for a sixth straight advance.

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"The yellow metal is in demand due to the fact that almost everyone is looking for safe-haven assets," Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets UK Ltd, said by email.

"Gold miners are laughing all the way because the entire landscape has become more attractive."

Volatility in equities, concern about a broadening US-China trade conflict and a softening US dollar have underpinned a rally in bullion.

The trade showdown is starting to have an impact on economic activity, after Apple Inc issued a warning on its outlook and factory data weakened.

Bullion for immediate delivery rose 0.5 per cent to US$1,291.29 an ounce at 1:42pm in New York, after touching the highest since mid-June.

On the Comex, gold for February delivery settled up 0.8 per cent. In December, the BI miners index jumped 12 per cent, the most for that month since 2008. Harmony Gold Mining Co and AngloGold Ashanti Ltd paced gains on Thursday.

Investors seeking havens have also been buying silver. The white metal touched the highest since July on Thursday. "Looks like silver has gained momentum because of gold," Mr Aslam said. BLOOMBERG