Gold and silver boosted by signs of slow US growth

Gold has hit its highest price in more than three months, as weaker-than-expected economic data has stimulated safe-haven buying.

While the stock market has not been dented by reports painting a picture of on-going weakness in the US economy, silver and gold investors appear to have been spurred into action by signs that growth is slowing.

By mid-afternoon in New York, spot gold was up over 1% at $1338.2 per troy ounce, the precious metal touching its highest level in close to four months, while silver advanced just over 1%, climbing to $22.07 per troy ounce, also hitting its highest price in nearly four months earlier today .

Today’s indications of slowing came from Markit’s services PMI, a survey compiled from data collected across a wide range of US private sector services companies, which slipped to its lowest level since last year’s government shutdown and from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, which reported its index of national business activity shows below-trend growth for the second successive month.

Concerns over the Ukraine crisis will also have played a part in driving flows into safe-havens, with the country’s finance minister revealing that $21 billion in financial aid will be needed over the next two years. Last week Standard & Poors downgraded Ukraine’s credit rating.

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