Gold rises to highest level in year as US equities fall sharply

Chicago, Feb 12 (IANS) Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose sharply on Thursday as US equities took a sharp downturn in reaction to a decreasing cost of oil.

The most active gold contract for April delivery rose $53.2, or 4.45 percent, to settle at $1,247.80 per ounce.

This settlement is gold future’s highest level since February 5, 2015.

The feature of the day has been economic instability and gold is up sharply because of it, analysts said.

The US Dow Jones Industrial Average took strong pressure from the falling price of oil and at one point had fallen by more than 300 points. As of 19:00 GMT, the Dow Jones had lost 1.71 percent.

Analysts noted that when equities post losses, the precious metal usually goes up, as investors are looking for a safe haven, while the opposite is true when US equities post gains. Traders are in the process of rushing to the precious metal because of it’ s safe haven properties.

Gold was given further support on US Federal Reserve’s Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s testimony to Congress. Prior to Yellen’s address to the U.S. Congress on Wednesday, the central bank hinted that it could still raise rates in March. However now that Yellen testified to Congress that the increases would be gradual, many analysts believe that the next rate hike will occur much later in the year.

Silver for March delivery rose 51.2 cents, or 3.35 percent, to close at $15.794 per ounce. Platinum for April delivery added 29 dollars, or 3.1 percent, to close at $963.20 per ounce.

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