Gold futures held above US$1,500 an ounce despite a second daily loss, while silver closed near a 14-month high.

Both metals have rallied amid worries about the global economic outlook and as central banks around the world continue to cut interest rates. The ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China has also increased demand for haven assets, with traders and analysts in Bloomberg’s weekly survey mostly bullish on their outlook for gold.

Gold futures for December delivery settled 0.1 per cent lower at US$1,508.50 an ounce at 1:31 p.m. on the Comex in New York, paring its gain to 3.5 per cent this week, the biggest such increase since June. Silver futures for September delivery posted a 4.1 per cent rise this week. The metal, which closed at US$16.931 on Friday, touched US$17.26 two days earlier. That was the highest price for the cheaper precious metal since mid-June 2018.

“The genie is out of the bottle, and all the people waiting on the sidelines are rushing to buy,” said Adrian Day, president of Adrian Day Asset Management. “Clearly, at some point, the stock market will turn around, the U.S. and China could even make a trade agreement, and things will calm down. Then we shall see some profit-taking, but for now, I think gold will continue to rise.”

Further signs of a global economic slowdown were evident on Friday as the U.K. unexpectedly registered its first economic contraction since the aftermath of the financial crisis. In the U.S., a measure of underlying U.S. producer prices fell in July for the first drop since early 2017, adding to signs of muted inflation that may reinforce the case for further Federal Reserve easing. The S&P 500 index fell as investors again fretted over an escalation of trade tensions with China.

Investors are continuing to flood into exchange-traded funds backed by gold, with holdings extending gains to the highest since March 2013. Silver ETFs have also seen large inflows this week, hovering near the highest on record. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. sees the growth in ETF investment as a key factor behind the bank’s forecast that gold will climb to US$1,600 over the next six months.

In other precious metals, platinum futures declined on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while palladium futures rose.