Pile it up... Gold futures are already well past $1,900 an ounce. And some analysts are forecasting it to touch $2,000 by September. Image Credit: Reuters

New York: Gold is trading near $1,900 an ounce, edging closer to its all-time high set almost nine years ago, as concerns about global growth buoyed "haven" demand.

Increasing signs that the prolonged coronavirus pandemic is stalling an economic recovery and the recent surge in tensions between the US and China are underpinning demand for the metal. Bullion is heading for a seventh weekly gain, the longest stretch since 2011.

Negative real rates, a weaker dollar, concerns over the economic cost of the health crisis and geopolitical uncertainties have put both precious metals on track for their biggest annual gain in a decade. UBS Group AG raised its near-term forecast for gold to reach $2,000 an ounce by the end of September, citing its qualities as a diversifier in a low-rate world.

"When interest rates are zero or near zero, then gold is an attractive medium to have because you don't have to worry about not getting interest on your gold and you see the gold price will rise as uncertainty in the markets are rising," Mark Mobius, co-founder at Mobius Capital Partners, said. "I would be buying now and continue to buy, because gold is really on a run, it's doing well."

Spot gold declined 0.1 per cent to $1,885.52 an ounce at 9:16am in Singapore. Prices touched $1,898.34 on Thursday, nearing the record $1,921.17 hit in September 2011. 

Futures are already pricing in

While spot gold prices are about $40 away from the all-time high, some futures contracts on the Comex are already trading even higher, potentially leading to a situation that may see the incoming most-active contract already at a record. December, which is likely to become the contract with the most open interest in coming days, touched $1,927.10 an ounce Thursday, above the record for the most-active contract of $1,923.70 reached in September 2011.