Gold climbed to the highest in more than a week and investors boosted holdings in bullion-backed funds as global market turmoil spurred demand for a haven.

The metal rose as much as 1.9 percent in New York as commodities dropped and a gauge of world equities teetered on the brink of a bear market. Citigroup Inc. raised its forecast for gold prices this year, while cutting the outlook for crude oil and base metals. The cost of living in the U.S. fell in December and housing starts unexpectedly slumped, government data Wednesday showed.

Gold futures for February delivery gained 1.6 percent to settle at $1,106.20 an ounce at 1:43 p.m. on the Comex in New York, after touching $1,109.90, the highest since Jan. 8. Prices are up 4.3 percent this year, the best performance of 22 raw materials on the Bloomberg Commodity Index.

Gold holdings in exchange-traded products rose for the seventh time in eight sessions on Tuesday, to 1,511.8 metric tons, the highest since Nov. 6, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Source: Bloomberg