CHICAGO, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange soared on Wednesday above 1,500 U.S. dollars per ounce, boosted by stronger safe haven demand.
The most active gold contract for December delivery rose 35.40 U.S. dollars, or 2.39 percent, to settle at 1,519.60 dollars per ounce.
Gold futures have gained almost 90 dollars in the past four consecutive sessions after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose additional tariffs on more Chinese imports.
The escalating trade tensions between the United States and China have led to stronger demand for safe haven assets, such as gold. Investors have shunned risky assets, triggering the plunge of equities.
Prior to gold's settlement, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq posted sharp losses amid sell-off, though the benchmark indexes recovered some losses later in the day.
The U.S. dollar index, a measure of the greenback against a basket of other major currencies, fell 0.18 percent to 97.45 shortly before the gold market's close.
When the dollar goes down, gold futures usually rise, as dollar-priced gold becomes less expensive for investors holding other currencies.
In a related but unexpected development, central banks in New Zealand, India and Thailand all announced key interest rate cuts on Wednesday.
The easing of monetary policy in different countries fueled concerns about the outlook for global economic growth, thus gave further support to gold futures, said market analysts.
As for other precious metals, silver for September delivery was up 75.1 cents, or 4.57 percent to close at 17.196 dollars per ounce. Platinum for October delivery was up 17.80 dollars, or 2.09 percent, to settle at 871.00 dollars per ounce.