Investing.com – Prices of the safe-haven gold edged up on Wednesday in Asia but still traded beneath the $1,300 level Tuesday as investors returned to a risk-on mode this week after the release of some upbeat Chinese economic data.
Gold futures for June delivery, traded on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, were up 0.1%, at $1,278.85 per ounce by 11:17 PM ET (03:17 GMT).
The gain in gold prices came even after official data showed China’s economy grew 6.4% in the first quarter of 2019 from a year earlier. Analysts have previously expected the growth to slow to 6.3%.
The country’s industrial production and retail sales also outperformed, data showed.
Prices of the safe-haven metal lost momentum this week as the latest set of economic data coming out from China and the U.S. were better than expected, easing investors’ concern of a global economic growth slowdown.
However, the U.S. Federal Reserve’s aggressive stance on interest rates, in addition to geopolitical issues including the trade war between the U.S. and China, could push gold prices higher this year, said Martin Huxley, global head of precious metals at INTL FCStone in a CNBC report.
“The view is that there won’t be any interest rate rises this year, which again will be supportive for the precious metals sector,” Huxley said.
“Over the second half of the year we expect it then to grind higher, and potentially it could test 1,400 towards the end of the year,” he added.
His comments contradicted with George Gero, precious metals analyst at RBC Wealth Management in New York, who said yesterday that demand for gold is slowing “after the strong economic numbers out of China and other centers,”
“With the holiday-shortened week due to Good Friday, it seems like a trading range will form below $1,275,” Gero noted.