Off The Wire
Gold heads for biggest monthly gain since Jan 2012 on rush to safety
* Silver on track for biggest monthly increase on record
* Dollar set for steepest monthly drop in decade
July 31 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Friday and headed for its biggest monthly gain in 8-1/2 years as the impact of the worsening coronavirus pandemic on the U.S. economy hammered the dollar, prompting investors to seek refuge in bullion.
Spot gold was up 0.8% at $1,975.30 an ounce by 0927 GMT, while U.S. gold futures rose 1.5% to $1,970.70.
Prices hit a record $1,980.57 on Tuesday and are up nearly 11% so far this month, their biggest monthly percentage gain since Jan. 2012.
Silver also climbed 2.4% to $24.11 an ounce, on course for its largest monthly rise on records going back to 1982 - up over 30% - with additional impetus from hopes for a revival in industrial activity.
"Gold is more of a store of value right now than pretty much anything else," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.
The dollar, often seen by investors as a rival safe-haven, was on track for its biggest monthly drop in almost a decade. Its decline makes dollar-priced gold cheaper for holders of other currencies.
Along with U.S. data showing the deepest economic contraction in at least 73 years in the second quarter and a rise in unemployment, the dollar was also hurt by President Donald Trump raising the possibility of delaying the November presidential election.
"Optimism about a V-shaped recovery is very much at risk and gold is seeing the benefit from that. It's quite likely that we'll see $2,000 an ounce in fairly short order," Hewson said.
Gold's latest jump has taken gains for the year to 30%, also driven by low interest rates globally amid widespread stimulus from central banks since the metal is considered a refuge from inflation and currency debasement.
Money managers allocated $3.9 billion into gold, the second largest weekly inflow ever, Bank of America said on Friday.
Elsewhere, platinum was flat at $903.09 and palladium dipped 0.6% to $2,069.70.