Gold prices moved higher on Wednesday and lifted the most active gold futures contract to a nearly one-week closing high, as weakness in global markets amid concerns about the Ukraine war and inflation increased the demand for the safe haven commodity.
Earlier this week, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell suggested in a speech to the National Association of Business Economists that larger increases in interest rates may be needed if inflation does not subside.
A steady dollar limited gold’s upside. The dollar index climbed to 98.88 before easing to 98.65, still fairly well above the flat line.
Gold futures for April ended higher by $15.80 or about 0.8% at $1,937.30 an ounce.
Silver futures for May ended up by $0.285 at $25.189 an ounce, while Copper futures for May settled at $4.7765 per pound, up $0.0765 from the previous close.
U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to impose further sanctions on Russia during his trip to Europe this week.
Biden is scheduled to meet other NATO allies in Brussels on Thursday to project a roadmap for a diplomatic solution to the ongoing slaughter of Ukrainians by Russia.
Biden is also set to meet European Union leaders to discuss an embargo on Russian oil by EU members.
Data released by the Commerce Department showed a continued decrease in new home sales in the month of February. The report showed new home sales slumped by 2% to an annual rate of 772,000 in February after plunging by 8.4% to a revised rate of 788,000 in January.
The continued decline surprised economists, who had expected new home sales to jump by 1.1% to a rate of 810,000 from the 801,000 originally reported for the previous month.
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