April 10, 2019 / 1:34 AM / a month ago

Gold up near two-week high as ECB, Fed give dovish signals

(Reuters) - Gold rose on Wednesday, lifted to their highest in almost two weeks as investors fretted about the global economy and trade tensions, and as the European Central Bank and the U.S. Federal Reserve showed signs that monetary policy will remain accommodative.

FILE PHOTO: Gold bars at the Austrian Gold and Silver Separating Plant 'Oegussa' in Vienna, Austria, March 18, 2016. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo

Spot gold was up 0.4 percent at $1,308.47 an ounce at 3:42 p.m EDT (1942 GMT). Prices hit their highest since March 28 at $1,310.50 during the session.

U.S. gold futures settled 0.4 percent higher at $1,313.90.

Gold drew support from political and economic worries such as the Brexit, U.S. politics and trade tensions between Washington and China and the Euro Zone, said George Gero, managing director at RBC Wealth Management.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi raised the prospect of more support for the struggling euro zone economy on Wednesday. Minutes of the Fed’s latest meeting showed a patient stance on interest rate hikes. Analysts said these factors supported gold prices.

Minutes of the Fed’s March 19-20 meeting showed policy makers saw the U.S. economy weathering a global slowdown, with no recession for the United States in the next few years.

Lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding gold, which is seen as a safe haven during times of political and economic uncertainty.

U.S. consumer prices increased in March by the most in more than a year, but underlying inflation remained benign against the backdrop of slowing domestic and global economic growth.

World stocks inched up but remained below the six-month high reached earlier this week, as investors worried about U.S. President Donald Trump threatening more tariffs against the European Union.

Higher stock indexes worldwide have constrained some buying in 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 gold prices are above $1,300, investors are looking for more reasons 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 climbed 1.6 percent to $901.25 an ounce. On Monday it touched its highest since last May at $914.74. Palladium fell 0.1 percent to $1,387.51, while silver firmed by 0.2 percent to $15.24.

Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrea Ricci and David Gregorio

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