The gold price continued its 2016 rally and hit a 52-high of $1,281 a troy ounce this month.
The new high was recorded on Friday as investors lowered expectations on how fast and how far the Federal Reserve might hike interest rates this year following U.S. employment data that indicated strong jobs growth, but low wages.
Gold for April delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange settled reached $1,280.7 a troy ounce before finishing at $1,270.70 a troy ounce on Friday.
The U.S. Labor Department reported on Friday that the world’s largest economy added a more-than-expected 242,000 jobs in February, while the unemployment rate held steady at 4.9%. However, average hourly earnings dropped 0.1% last month, which is the first monthly decline in wages in more than a year.
Bullion is the best performing investment since the beginning of the year. It has rallied 19.8%, followed by silver, which has gained 13.4%, and platinum, which has added 12.7%.
The 2016 rally is largely because worries about a serious economic slowdown in China, the world’s second-largest economy, and plunging oil prices have triggered a flight to safety away from riskier alternatives.
The yellow metal has gained 21.6% since it touched a 52-week low of $1,046.6 a troy ounce on December 3.
The Federal Reserve said in December that it would halt a seven-year experiment with near-zero interest rates by boosting its benchmark rate gradually over the next three years. Gold can easily compete with yield-bearing assets, including Treasurys, when interest rates are near zero.
The prospect of the Fed rate-rise delay continued to lift the gold price on Monday.
Gold for April delivery was up 0.1% at $1,272.10 a troy ounce at 8:04 a.m. in electronic trading, trimming an earlier gain to $1,274 a troy ounce.