Gold hits new 3-month high
LONDON: Gold touched a new three-month high on Monday as concerns about the global economy and a further drop in the oil price pushed investors towards safehaven assets. Weak Chinese manufacturing data on Monday underscored the challenges for the world economy and increased volatility in oil and other assets is supporting gold. "In the near term gold is finding some support in the dovish tone from central banks last week, notably the Fed and the Bank of Japan," said Jens Pedersen, senior analyst at Danske Bank. The Bank of Japan's decision last week to introduce negative interest rates helped lift the precious metal and it could see more gains as some central banks may be forced into easing monetary policy further this year to spur growth. Spot gold touched $1,130.11 an ounce, its strongest since November 3, and was trading down 0.3 per cent at $1,125.64 by 1006 GMT. A break above $1,136 could lift gold towards $1,157, a level reached in late October, said ScotiaMocatta technical analysts. US gold for April delivery was off 0.2 per cent at $1,126 an ounce. Gold is typically the asset of choice in times of uncertainty. It posted its best monthly jump in a year in January, and has gained six per cent so far in 2016, after falling 10.4 per cent last year.