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Gold holds gain as stocks drop with oil, investors weigh data
[SINGAPORE] Gold held an advance as stocks and crude oil retreated, boosting demand for haven assets, and investors weighed economic data from the US that could provide clues on whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this year.
Bullion for immediate delivery traded at US$1,225.03 an ounce at 9:49 am in Singapore from US$1,226.85 on Tuesday, when prices rose 1.5 per cent, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index of regional equities retreated for a second day along with crude.
Gold has surged in 2016 as volatility in financial markets and concern over global growth has reduced bets the Fed will increase rates this year, boosting the metal's appeal as a store of value.
US data on Tuesday were mixed, as reports showed that while consumer confidence decreased this month, sales of previously owned homes rose in January.
"Prices have pushed higher in the last 24 hours as another round of tepid economic data out of the United States casts further doubt on the Fed's ability to raise rates," said Jordan Eliseo, chief economist at trader Australian Bullion Co in Sydney.
"Consumer confidence was down sharply, a sure sign that the world's largest economy is in an at-best-fragile state of recovery."