[SINGAPORE] Gold traded near a seven-month high as investors assess the outlook for US monetary policy amid swings in financial markets and concern that global growth is slowing.
Bullion for immediate delivery rose as much as 0.5 per cent to US$1,194.52 an ounce and was at US$1,191.24 by 12:38 pm in Singapore, according to Bloomberg generic pricing.
The metal climbed above US$1,200 on Monday for the first time since June as global equities slumped.
Gold has outperformed all members of the Bloomberg Commodity Index in 2016 as growth concerns fuel market turbulence and boost demand for haven assets.
Bullion has also risen after the dollar weakened due to speculation that the US central bank will hold off raising interest rates. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen appears before the US House Financial Services Committee Wednesday and will address the Senate Banking Committee the next day.
Volatility on "global markets saw gold remain in sight of the US$1,200 an ounce level," Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd wrote in a note on Wednesday.
"Markets will be driven by two things today: the performance of equities and the semi-annual testimony by Fed chair Yellen."
The odds of a US rate increase by December are now less than 30 per cent, according to data tracked by Bloomberg. Precious metals tend to fare better in a lower rate environment as they don't deliver returns other than through price gains.
Investors reduced holdings in gold-backed exchange-traded products for the first time in 17 days. The assets declined less than 0.1 per cent to 1,563.1 tons as of Tuesday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.