Gold advanced for a fourth straight day, the longest rally in almost three months, as a selloff in equities and a claim that North Korea detonated a hydrogen bomb boosted demand for a haven asset.

Bullion reached the highest in mid-November as stock markets around the world retreated. The atomic-test claims add to investor concerns spurred by Saudi Arabia-Iran tensions and China’s stock-market rout earlier this week that had already boosted gold’s appeal as a store of value.

Gold, which fell for a third straight year in 2015 as U.S. equities rose and the Federal Reserve signaled interest-rate increases, climbed above its 50-day moving average on Wednesday for the first time since early November. Newmont Mining Corp., the biggest U.S. gold producer, defied the sell-off in equities, rallying 1.4 percent, among the best performances on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Gold futures for February delivery advanced 1.3 percent to settle at $1,091.90 an ounce at 1:44 p.m. on the Comex in New York, marking the longest winning streak since Oct. 15.

Prices extended their gains after the market closed, reaching $1,094.90, the highest since Nov. 16, after the minutes of the Dec. 15-16 meeting of the Federal Reserve were released. The minutes showed the decision to raise interest rates last month was a “close call” for some policy makers who worried about too-low inflation and received assurances that their colleagues would closely monitor its progress.

Silver futures were little changed on the Comex in New York, while platinum declined on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Source : Bloomberg