U.S. gold was up 0.7 percent at $1,347.80. Silver breached the $20 an ounce level early Monday, hitting a session-high of $20.378, its strongest since August 2014. The white metal gained 11.6 percent last week to mark its best weekly gain since August 2013.
Asian share markets took a step back on Monday as investors took stock of the potential economic fallout from the Brexit vote after days of volatile trade, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan down 0.1 percent in early trading.
The dollar index up, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, was nearly flat, but it remained pressured by a fall in U.S. Treasury yields on Friday. U.S. factory activity expanded at a healthy pace in June as new orders, output and exports rose, new industry data showed on Friday, providing another sign that U.S. economic growth was regaining its footing after weakness early this year.
The U.S. economy has shown signs of improvement in recent weeks but the Federal Reserve expects it will take some time before it can assess the impact of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer said on Friday. Two of the European Central Bank’s top policymakers pressed Britain on Friday to provide a clear-cut plan for leaving the European Union, to prevent more economic damage.
Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.41 percent to 953.91 tons on Friday, the highest since July 2013. Hedge funds and money managers raised their bullish positions in COMEX gold and silver contracts to record highs in the week to June 28.
Gold demand in Asia remained sluggish this week as higher prices continued to deter physical traders from making fresh purchases, with discounts in India widening to a record high.