imageCommodities1 hour ago (Sep 23, 2019 11:16AM ET)

(C) Reuters. – Gold prices broke out to their highest levels in more than two weeks as negative economic data out of Europe and another stop in the stop-start U.S.-China trade talks reignited demand for haven assets.

By 11:00 AM ET (15:00 GMT), gold futures for delivery on the Comex exchange were up more than $17, or 1.2%, at $1,532.65 a troy ounce, while spot gold was up 0.5% at $1,525.12.

Silver futures popped even more dramatically, rising 4.6% to $18.66 an ounce, amid perceptions that it still has room to catch up to its more expensive rival.

“We don’t see silver’s industrial linkages holding its price back as we are confident in our view that investor appeal for alternative precious metals, particularly when the long gold trade gets crowded, will ultimately drive prices higher,” JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) analysts, led by Natasha Kanteva ,said in a research note. Kanteva’s team see silver peaking at nearly $22 an ounce by the end of next year, with prices averaging around $20.91 an ounce over the year as a whole.

Earlier, IHS Markit’s monthly purchasing manager indexes had suggested the eurozone economy was close to stalling at the end of the third quarter, as months of weakness in manufacturing started to spill over into the services sector. German manufacturing, a regional bright spot for the last decade, contracted at the steepest rate since 2009.

IHS’s survey of U.S. manufacturing also discerned a further slowdown in both activity and hiring, but the index reading of 51.0 was still better than the 50.3 expected, and an improvement from August.

Even so, the company pointed to clear signs of a weakening dynamic.

“Jobs are now also being cut across the surveyed companies for the first time since January 2010, as firms have become more risk averse and increasingly eager to cut costs,” IHS said.

The J.P. Morgan analysts said they see gold’s recent moves as “quite reminiscent of the early-stage onset of a recession, when, courtesy of their anti-cyclical safe-haven characteristics, gold, bonds and the U.S. dollar tend to rally in the dying days of the expansion and into a recession.”

They said they still don’t think a recession is fully priced into gold yet and see prices hitting $1,780 an ounce by the end of next year.

Elsewhere, platinum futures also rose, by 2.0% to $950.61 an ounce as the yield on the 10-Year Treasury note fell eight basis points to 1.67%.

Gold Rides New Wave of Risk Aversion to Two-Week High

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