Gold Boosted By Far East Physical Demand, Investors Seeking 'Undervalued' Asset

(Kitco News) -Gold is starting 2014 on a stronger note, getting a boost Thursday from good physical demand in the Asian region, traders said.

Some also said the metal might be drawing a second look from investors as an “undervalued” asset after posting its worst year in three decades during 2013. Gold has bounced since the middle of a holiday-lightened session Tuesday when short covering set in after the market held its lows for the year on chart for the spot market and also on a futures-continuation chart.

As of 7:54 a.m. EST, gold for February delivery was $11.90, or 1%, higher to $1,214.20 per ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. March silver was up 57 cents, or 2.9%, to $19.94 an ounce.

“The Far East came in as buyers,” said Afshin Nabavi, head of trading with MKS (Switzerland) SA. Physical demand appeared to pick up. Meanwhile, there appeared to be a shortage of physical metal availability for immediate delivery due to a number of closures around the world over the last week during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, he continued.

Buy stops, which are pre-placed orders activated when certain chart points are hit, were triggered on the rise, Nabavi said. This happened in still-thin holiday conditions, enabling the February futures to jump from around $1,214 an ounce to $1,226 within minutes, before eventually going on to a high of $1,228 that was its most muscular level since Dec. 18.

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