New York, US (BBN) – Gold edged slightly higher in Asia on Wednesday with the focus on China trade data.
Gold for April delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange edged up 0.10 per cent to $1,217.35 a troy ounce, reports
Silver futures dipped 0.16 per cent to $17.508 a troy ounce. Copper futures rose 0.27 per cent to $2.623 a pound.
Earlier, China reported that exports rose 4.2 per cent in February in yuan terms, while imports soared 44.7 per cent. Dollar-denominated trade balance figures are pending.
Overnight, gold prices slumped to a four-week low on Tuesday, as the dollar rose on increased expectations that the Federal Reserve (Fed) will hike interest rates at its policy meeting this month.
A recent batch of strong US economy data coupled with hawkish comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen last Friday fueled expectations that the US central bank will hike rates in March.
According to’s Fed rate monitor tool, nearly 90 per cent of traders expect a rate hike in March, compared to just 81.9 per cent of traders on Monday.
Gold is sensitive to moves in US interest rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion, while boosting the dollar in which it is priced.
Gold struggled to mount a recovery, despite a brief setback in the dollar as it pared gains, after the release of economy data showed the US trade deficit grew in January to its widest monthly level in almost five years.
The commerce department said Tuesday, the trade gap widened by 9.6 per cent to $48.5 billion in January, the highest level since March 2012, and in line with economists’ forecasts.
Meanwhile, investors await non-farm payrolls for February on Friday, viewed as a critical barometer of the US economy and represents the final key economic data point ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting on March 14-15.