SINGAPORE: Gold edged higher on Friday despite a rebound in stocks, underscoring support for the safe-haven metal from bullish technicals and money flows into exchange traded funds.
Asian shares rose on Friday following a firmer finish on Wall Street and as investors awaited a meeting of the Group of 20 finance leaders that will likely offer reassuring words, but little in the way of actual policy stimulus.
Spot gold gained 0.2 percent to $1,236.60 an ounce by 0309 GMT, after rising 0.4 percent in the previous session.
Gold prices are inversely tracking moves in the equity markets. Its 16.5-percent rally this year has been fuelled by safe-haven bids as equities tumbled on lower oil prices and fears of an economic slowdown. The metal hit a one-year top of $1,260.60 two weeks ago.
"The general economic situation is giving support to the gold market. I won't be surprised if we make new highs," said a bullion trader in Hong Kong.
"There does look to be good money going into ETFs, and their correlation with the price is really strong."
Assets of SPDR Gold Trust, the top bullion ETF, rose to their highest since March 2015 on Wednesday.
Inflows into the fund since the beginning of the year have already surpassed outflows for the whole of 2015. The increase in assets this year is the highest since 2010.
Bullion is also supported by strong technicals.
Gold prices have developed a bullish technical formation called the 'golden cross,' where the 50-day moving average goes above the 200-day moving average.
The shorter term price average is now about $3 above the longer-term average.
This is the first such occurrence in nearly two years and would be a bullish buy signal for technical traders and momentum-driven investors.
Among other precious metals, platinum dropped for a third session to trade near a two-week low of $913 an ounce reached on Thursday.
Palladium was near a six-week low reached in the previous session.
Unlike gold and silver that benefit from safe-haven bids on slowing economic growth, the platinum group metals have declined as they are largely used for industrial purposes.