Gold hit nearly a two-week high overnight as tepid US economic data reinforced views the US Federal Reserve would be patient on monetary policy, with bullion’s appeal also bolstered by uncertainty over a Brexit deal ahead of a key vote.
Spot gold gained 0.5 per cent to $US1,308.83 per ounce, its highest level since March 1.
US gold futures settled 0.9 percent higher at $US1,309.3 per ounce.
‘The US PPI numbers came weaker than expected. This, coupled with the Brexit news, is helping gold,’ said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures
Domestic producer prices in the United States rose 1.9 per cent on a year-over-year basis in February, the smallest annual increase since June 2017.
Tepid inflation and disappointing producer price data this week support the Fed’s stance of keeping interest rates on hold, denting the US dollar and lifting demand for non-interest-yielding gold.
The US central bank’s rate-setting committee will issue its next policy statement following its March 19-20 meeting.
‘Traders are buying into the fact that they are expecting a very dovish US Fed announcement,’ Haberkorn said.
Gold breached the psychologically significant $US1,300 level on Tuesday, helped by a weaker US dollar, with demand for the US currency taking a hit after softer-than-expected US February inflation data and falling government bond yields.
‘Metals technically have more upside to go just on rising geopolitical uncertainty, specifically what’s going on in Britain,’ Haberkorn added.
Prime Minister Theresa May lost a second attempt for her Brexit plan, plunging Britain deeper into a political crisis before the country’s planned March 29 departure from the European Union, and denting risk appetite.
However, European shares regained some ground on Wednesday, buoyed by optimism that British lawmakers were set to rule out a no-deal Brexit.
On the technical front, ‘gold is now heading towards the next potential resistance around $US1313, a former support level,’ said Forex.com analyst Fawad Razaqzada.
However, if the $US1,300 support level gives away again, ‘we could see a more significant sell-off this time around’.
Concerns over slowing global economic growth were also bolstering appeal for gold, considered a safe store of value during economic or political uncertainties, analysts said.
Reflecting sentiment, holdings in the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, rose about 0.4 per cent on Tuesday, a second straight day of gains.
Among other precious metals, palladium climbed 0.9 per cent to $US1,555.01 per ounce, while platinum rose 0.1 per cent to $US838.
Silver was up 0.1 per cent to $US15.46 per ounce.