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Gold prices jumped to their highest level since September 2011, and silver hit a near four-year peak as a spike in COVID-19 infections and hopes for increased stimulus measures supported safe-haven demand.

Spot gold rose 0.4 per cent to $US1,815.34 per ounce by 1755 GMT, having touched a high of $US1,820.06 earlier in the session.

US gold futures settled up 0.4 per cent to $US1,817.40 per ounce.

“Gold’s gaining popularity exponentially right now, just because of all the inflationary aspects: the yield curve, money printing, worries about the economy and COVID,” said Michael Matousek, head trader at US Global Investors.

“When you see something (happen) in the bull market, you want to buy the pullbacks. … You have a lot of people targeting the $US1,825 level; if it breaks above, it could go higher.”

Gold is trading below its all-time peak of $US1,920.30 an ounce hit in September 2011, with prices mainly boosted by a wave of monetary stimulus measures to shelter the impact of the pandemic.

Signs that the European Union countries are willing to compromise on a 1.8 trillion-euro ($US2 trillion) coronavirus stimulus plan, should also keep bullion well supported.

Cases of the coronavirus, which has infected more than 14 million people globally, continue to soar in the United States, with experts at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warning that cases and deaths could rise this autumn and winter.

Silver rose 2.3 per cent to $US19.76 per ounce, having hit a peak since September 2016 at $US19.81 on increasing safe-haven flows.

Recovering industrial demand alongside supply concerns in Latin America amid rising coronavirus cases that threaten its supply chains have also helped drive silver prices higher, Societe Generale said in a note.

Palladium gained 2.1 per cent to $US2,063.51 per ounce, while platinum rose 0.6 per cent to $US842.60 per ounce.