Gold prices rose to a more than three-week high on Monday, helped by a weaker dollar and as worries over global economic growth pushed investors into safe-haven assets.
Spot gold had risen 0.5 percent to $1,320.94 an ounce, after touching its highest since Feb. 28 at $1,321.13. Last week it posted its third consecutive weekly gain, rising about 1 percent.
U.S. gold futures settled $10.30 higher at $1322.60.
“The pullback in the stock markets, the dollar index and benign interest rates are helping gold prices,” said George Gero, managing director at RBC Wealth Management.
Equity markets on Monday hit a 12-day low on global economic worries after an inversion in the U.S. bond yield curve on Friday stoked fears that the world’s largest economy was headed for recession, boosting demand for assets such as gold and the yen while denting the dollar.
Political turmoil in Britain over the country’s exit from the European Union, known as Brexit, also boosted gold’s safe haven appeal.
“Brexit (worries) and approaching option expiration could continue to support prices. But, not necessarily enough to push prices towards $1,350,” Gero said.
European Union officials said on Monday it was increasingly likely Britain would leave the bloc without a divorce deal after April 12 and the EU had completed contingency preparations for such a scenario.
Gold has gained more than 13 percent since touching more than 1-1/2 year lows last August, mainly driven by a dovish U.S. Federal Reserve and global growth concerns.
“From our vantage point, we expect gold to head towards our target of $1,364 sooner than anticipated,” TD Securities analysts said in a research note.
“While prices have thus far avoided closing above levels that would imply substantial buying, the bar is low for algorithmic trend followers to substantially add to their length above $1,315.”
Speculators raised their net long position by 15,971 contracts to 57,746 in COMEX gold in the week to March 19, data showed on Friday.
Holdings in the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, rose about 1 percent in the previous week.
“We are entering a period of high uncertainty for fundamentals and risk assets and if this were to heighten further gold could break out substantially, helped by safe haven flows, lower yields and expectations of a possible return to quantitative easing,” Atlanta Wealth wrote in a note to clients.
Palladium was up 0.4 percent at $1,568 an ounce, silver had gained 0.8 percent to $15.54 and platinum was up 0.9 percent at $851.85.