Gold held near a three-week peak early on Thursday as a weaker Chinese yuan kept equities under pressure, encouraging investors to seek safe-haven assets. China's currency fell to a four-year low on Wednesday, slumping for a second day after Beijing's shock devaluation. Sources told Reuters that there was some support within the Chinese government for a devaluation of perhaps up to 10 percent to help struggling exporters. Further weakness in the yuan could pull more funds out of equities and push them into safe-haven assets such as gold.


Base metal prices on the SHFE market are expected to keep rallying on Aug. 13, Shanghai Metals Market foresees. LME copper prices increased Wednesday but did not break through USD 5,200/mt, closing at USD 5,185/mt. Depreciation of Chinese yuan continued to hit financial market. LME gold rose sharply with investors seeking for safety. The US dollar index fell back as interest rate hike expectation weakened. However, crude oil prices remained low. China’s fixed asset investment and industrial added value grew more slowly in July.


Oil prices were steady early on Thursday, supported by lower U.S. stockpiles and a firm demand outlook, but worries over China's economy continued to weigh. China's economy is showing increasing signs of weakness, with the devaluation of its yuan currency potentially denting demand for imports of fuel. China consumed roughly 10.12 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil in July, down more than 4 percent from June, although the implied use was up from 9.72 million bpd a year ago, according to calculations based on preliminary government data.