Gold prices jumped on Wednesday to their highest in 15 weeks as nagging fears about global trade and expectations of a US interest rate cut encouraged investors to flock toward bullion. Spot gold was up 0.3% to $1,329.41 per ounce at 11:07 am EDT (1507 GMT). It had earlier soared over 1% to $1,343.86, within striking distance of a 10-month peak at $1,346.73 scaled on February 20.
Gold gains on expectations of a rate cut since lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding the metal.
US gold futures gained 0.5% to $1,334.70 an ounce. Gold s rally is on the back of trade concerns, which could trigger a slowdown economically, said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategies at TD Securities in Toronto.
With the US Federal Reserve expected to cut rates and some people expecting rate cuts three times this year, the dollar has weakened and that has helped money flows to gold increase. The dollar is now struggling near an eight-week low, having been battered by expectations of interest rate cuts. On Tuesday, Fed chair Jerome Powell moved away from his patient approach.
Powell instead acknowledged risks due to trade conflicts, saying the central bank would respond as appropriate to the same. The combination of a scaling back of US interest rate expectations, a struggling S&P 500, and the dollar coming off the boil has lifted the price of gold to a three-month high during the past week, Capital Economics said in a note.
Looking ahead, we expect a faltering US stock market to push the price of gold much higher by the end of this year.
Also helping bullion was a string of weak US data, the latest showing private employers in the country added the fewest jobs in May since 2010, aggravating concerns the US economy could fall prey to an elongated trade war.
Gold prices have gained about $70 an ounce since US President Donald Trump s tariff threat on Mexico, with investors selling riskier assets. The jump in gold prices also saw a 2.2% rise in the holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, on Monday. It was SPDR s biggest one-day percentage gain since July 2016.
Silver edged 0.1% lower to $14.86 per ounce, having touched an over one-month high of $15.04 earlier in the session. Platinum fell nearly 1% to $807.79 per ounce, having earlier hit $832.63 its highest since May 17. Palladium fell 1.6% to $1,325.47 per ounce.