NEW YORK: Gold jumped as much as 1.2% to a more than four-month high on Wednesday as weaker equity markets and inflation concerns boosted bullion’s safe-haven appeal, with focus turning to minutes from the US Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting.
Spot gold rose 0.6% to $1,880.24 by 1:41 p.m. EDT (1741 GMT), after hitting its highest since Jan. 8 at $1,889.75. US gold futures settled up 0.7% at $1,881.50.
“There’s a lot of turmoil in the global equity markets, so there’s flight to safety. Gold has bounced pretty good off its lows. There’s an opportunity here to move back above $1,900 shortly,” said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.
Global stocks slipped as a threat of unwanted inflation prompted investors to shy away from riskier assets.
Minutes from the Fed’s April 27-28 policy meeting are due at 1800 GMT.
“The markets are also pricing in the Fed to be dovish,” Haberkorn said, adding the central bank will not change its stance on inflation at the moment.
Gold has risen by more than $200, or over 12%, since falling to a nine-month trough in early March, with gains driven by a pullback in the dollar and a rise in inflation expectations, as bullion is considered a hedge against inflation.
“Supportive institutional flows have helped the yellow metal break out from its downtrend ... most recently highlighted by rising exchange traded flows (ETF) flows alongside rising money manager positioning,” TD Securities said in a note.
“With investors sounding the alarm over inflation, institutional interest in the precious metals complex is likely to continue rising following months of outflows.”
Gold also seemed to benefit from a tumble in bitcoin, as selling in digital coins intensified after China’s ban, analysts said.
Silver eased 1.3% to $27.84 per ounce. Palladium fell 0.8% to $2,879.95, while platinum lost 2.1%, at $1,193.07.