Gold Holds Gains, Near Two-week High on Softer Equities

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January 3, 2014 2:48 PM EST

Gold was trading near its two-week high on Friday, holding on to sharp gains from the previous session as weaker equities spurred demand for the metal seen as a safe-haven asset.


* Spot gold was unchanged at $1,224.65 an ounce by 0025 GMT. It climbed 1.6 percent on Thursday and hit a two-week peak of $1,230.65 as sharp losses in equities prompted funds to buy bullion on the first trading day of the new year.

* Silver was also trading near its highest in two weeks after gaining 3.5 percent in the previous session.

* Gold's gains come after it lost 28 percent in 2013, ending a 12-year bull run and posting its largest loss in 32 years, as the U.S. Federal Reserve announced plans to unwind its monetary stimulus.

* China Gold International(CGG.TO), a mid-sized Canadian-based company with two mines in China, is eager to make an acquisition in Canada, but asset prices remain very high despite a bombed-out mining sector, a company official said.

* SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 3.60 tonnes to 794.62 tonnes on Thursday.


* Asian markets were on the defensive on Friday after a sudden reversal in some very popular, and thus crowded, trades sparked a bout of global risk aversion.

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