Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Johannesburg/London — Gold prices climbed to two-month highs on Friday as investors sought refuge from escalating tensions between North Korea and the US, while bullion also received support from weak US inflation data.

US President Donald Trump issued a new threat to North Korea, saying American weapons were "locked and loaded" as Pyongyang accused him of driving the Korean Peninsula to the brink of nuclear war. Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,287 per ounce by 2.17pm GMT, set for its biggest weekly gain since April. It earlier hit its highest since June 7 at $1,291.86.

US gold futures gained 0.2% to $1,292.70.

"There is a continuation of flight to the safe havens after remarks on Thursday evening from Trump about North Korea," said Quantitative Commodity Research consultant Peter Fertig.

"It’s not very likely that these tensions will ease in the near future so the outlook seems supportive for gold." Geopolitical risks can boost demand for assets considered safe-haven investments, such as gold.

Gold got an extra boost after data showed US consumer prices rose less than expected in July, pointing to benign inflation that could make the Federal Reserve cautious about raising interest rates again this year. "If you look at the gold price after the CPI (inflation) data, it tells you that the Fed is not going to be in any rush to increase the interest rate this year," said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets.

"The level which we are looking at now is $1,300." The dollar index slipped to a one-week low on Friday after the US data. Silver fell 0.3% to $17.04 per ounce after hitting $17.24, its highest since June 14, in the previous session. It was on course for a weekly rise of about 5%, the biggest such gain since July 2016.

Platinum climbed 1.1% to $987 per ounce after touching $991.50, its highest since March 6. It had gained about 3% for the week so far. Palladium added 0.4% to $899.80 per ounce and was on track to end the week about 2% higher.


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