Gold hits 2-week peak on dovish ECB; focus on Fed minutes


WASHINGTON: Gold hit a near two-week high on Wednesday, supported by softer US economic data and as the European Central Bank reinforced an accommodative monetary policy, with focus turning to the minutes from the US Federal Reserve’s March meeting.
Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,306.88 an ounce at 10:27 a.m EDT (1427 GMT), its highest since March 28. US gold futures were also up 0.2 percent at $1,310.40.
The European Central Bank kept its ultra-easy monetary policy unchanged as expected on Wednesday, giving recent stimulus measures time to work their way into the economy and counter spreading global gloom.
“Draghi was leaning dovish and there are also dovish expectations for the Fed minutes this afternoon,” said Tai Wong, head of base and precious metals derivatives trading at BMO, adding that US consumer price data was mild.
US consumer prices increased by the most in more than a year in March, but underlying inflation remained benign against the backdrop of slowing domestic and global economic growth.
Investors were now awaiting the release of the Federal Open Market Committee’s minutes from its March meeting due later on Wednesday.
“Market is looking to test the 50-day moving average around $1,308 to see if we can move higher,” Wong said.
World stocks inched up on Wednesday but were still below the six-month high they reached earlier this week amid concerns about US President Donald Trump threatening more tariffs against the European Union.
Higher stock indices worldwide have constrained some buying in the safe-haven metals, said Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco Metals.
“If the monetary policies are going be easing around the world then the financial system would be much more liquid, which might augur some buying in commodities,” Wyckoff said.
While prices are above the psychological level of $1,300, investors are looking for more catalysts to buy the metal, analysts said.
Holdings in the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, fell for the seventh consecutive session on Tuesday and are at their lowest level since November.
In other metals, spot platinum rose 0.9 percent to $895.20 an ounce. On Monday it touched its highest since last May at $914.74.
Palladium lost 0.1 percent to $1,387, while silver firmed by 0.2 percent to $15.24.