July 20, 2020 / 3:32 AM / 16 days ago

Gold hits highest since September 2011, silver at four-year peak

(Reuters) - Gold prices jumped to their highest since September 2011 on Monday, and silver hit an over four-year peak as a spike in COVID-19 infections and hopes for increased stimulus measures supported safe-haven demand.

FILE PHOTO: An employee holds a 1kg gold bar at AGR (African Gold Refinery) in Entebbe, Uganda, October 4, 2018. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Spot gold rose 0.4% to $1,816.56 per ounce by 11:22 a.m. EDT (1522 GMT), having touched a high of $1820.06 earlier in the session.

U.S. gold futures rose 0.5% to $1,818.70 per ounce.

“Gold’s gaining popularity exponentially right now, just because of all the inflationary aspects: the yield curve, money printing, worries about the economy and COVID,” said Michael Matousek, head trader at U.S. Global Investors.

“When you see something (happen) in the bull market, you want to buy the pullbacks. ... You have a lot of people targeting the $1,825 level; if it breaks above, it could go higher.”

Gold is trading below its all-time peak of $1,920.30 an ounce hit in September 2011, with prices mainly boosted by a wave of monetary stimulus measures to shelter the impact of the pandemic.

Signs that the European Union countries are willing to compromise on a 1.8 trillion-euro ($2 trillion) coronavirus stimulus plan, should also keep bullion well supported.

Cases of the coronavirus, which has infected more than 14 million people globally, continue to soar in the United States, with experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warning that cases and deaths could rise this autumn and winter.

Elsewhere, silver rose 2.4% to $19.76 per ounce, having hit a peak since September 2016 at $19.81 on increasing safe-haven flows.

Recovering industrial demand alongside supply concerns in Latin America amid rising coronavirus cases that threaten its supply chains have also helped drive silver prices higher, Societe Generale said in a note.

Palladium gained 2% to $2,061.42 per ounce, while platinum rose 0.7% to $843.52 per ounce.

Reporting by Nakul Iyer and Swati Verma in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Shreyansi Singh; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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