Gold traded little changed near a one-week high after data showed that the U.S. economy unexpectedly shrank and the Federal Reserve maintained asset purchases. Platinum headed for the best month in a year.
Spot gold was at $1,676.79 at 3:33 p.m. in Singapore, after gaining as much as 0.2 percent. Bullion climbed as much as 1.2 percent yesterday to $1,683.28, the highest price since Jan 24. The metal is poised to snap three months of losses. Platinum, the best-performing precious metal this year, has jumped 9.4 percent this month in the biggest gain since January 2012.
The U.S. economy contracted 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter, the most since the second quarter of 2009, as defense spending slumped. The Fed will keep purchasing securities at the rate of $85 billion a month, the Federal Open Market Committee said after a two-day meeting. Gold rallied 7.1 percent in 2012, advancing for a 12th year on global stimulus measures.
“A reevaluation of the U.S. economic recovery combined with a reaffirmation of a highly accommodative monetary policy is gold-bullish,” Howard Wen, an analyst at HSBC Securities (USA) Inc., wrote in a note. The so-called overall trajectory for gold and silver appears higher, Wen said.
Gold for April delivery slipped 0.2 percent to $1,677.70 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Bullion held in exchange-traded products rose from a two-month low to 2,612.836 metric tons yesterday, halting a four-day drop that was the longest period of declines since April, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Platinum has rallied this month on prospects for increased demand as the global economy rebounds, with a faster expansion in China, and after Anglo American Platinum Ltd., the largest producer, said it will idle some shafts. The metal used in autocatalysts traded little changed at $1,684.49 an ounce.
Platinum and related metals may have so-called price spikes this year and next because of growing demand and a lack of investment in mines, Steve Shepherd, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co., said in a report today. “Good news for the metals may stem from bad news at the mines,” he said.
Cash silver was 0.2 percent lower at $31.98 an ounce after jumping as much as 2.6 percent yesterday. The metal is 5.4 percent higher this month, rebounding from a 9.2 percent drop in December, which was the worst monthly showing since May.
Palladium slid 0.2 percent to $748 an ounce, after climbing to a 16-month high of $759.50 yesterday. The metal has risen 6.3 percent this month, for a third monthly gain.