Gold was set to rise more than 9 per cent in 2016, its first annual gain in four years, edging higher in the final trading session of the year on Friday on the back of a weaker dollar.
Spot gold was up 0.1 per cent at $1,159.36 an ounce by 0325 GMT, having earlier hit a more than two-week high of $1,163.14 an ounce. The metal rose over one per cent in the previous session, its biggest daily per centage gain since late September.
“Gold made robust gains as demand surged during the periods of economic and political uncertainty until the third quarter,” said Mihir Kapadia, CEO of London-based Sun Global Investments Ltd.
The safe haven asset was poised to register its best weekly gains since early June, having risen about 2.5 per cent this week. However, it is still down nearly one per cent in December, and about 12 per cent this quarter.
“The decline experienced by the metal during December is largely due to the market tide favoring the U.S. economy which hopes for infrastructure and spending boost under a Trump administration, which has cemented expectations of higher interest rates and higher stock prices in 2017,” Kapadia said.
US gold futures rose 0.2 per cent to $1,160.3 per ounce.
The market could witness a countercyclical bounce that may carry on for a few more sessions, Meir added.
Top consumer China’s net gold imports via main conduit Hong Kong fell 17.84 per cent month on month in November, data showed on Thursday.
Other precious metals were also set to end the year in positive territory. Silver was up 0.1 per cent at $16.17, on track to end the year up about 17 per cent.
Palladium edged 0.2 per cent lower to $670.47, but was the best performer among precious metals for the year 2016, up over 19 per cent so far.