By Barani Krishnan
Investing.com - Scattered weak spots in the global economy are helping gold fetch a bid. But getting the yellow metal out of the $1,200 hole will require a lot more risk aversion.
Bullion and gold futures advanced slightly from four-month lows Thursday as anemic manufacturing numbers out of Europe renewed worries about growth in the world's largest economic bloc. But the dollar, strengthened by resurgent U.S. retail sales, capped gold's gain, reflecting the precious metal's challenge in recapturing its $1,300 perch.
Spot gold, reflective of trades in bullion, was up 20 cents at $1,274.24 per ounce by 2:15 PM ET (18:15 GMT).
Gold futures for June delivery, traded on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, settled the official session down 80 cents, or 0.1%, at $1,276 per ounce.
Thursday's market also saw crimped activity ahead of the Good Friday holiday.
"This is a holiday-shortened week with limited audiences, so the news of lesser inflation and weak manufacturing in the euro zone was balanced out by equally positive U.S. data," said George Gero, precious metals analyst at RBC Wealth Management in New York.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.5% to 97.127.
The outlook for gold is clouded.
After its slide this week to $1,250 levels, some see a break below $1,200. Others, like London-based Capital Economics, predict $1,400 before the end of 2019, saying risk aversion will return to global markets and spur safe-haven demand in North American and European gold ETFs.
Palladium rose for a second-straight day, reclaiming its $1,400 perch. Spot palladium was up $25.80, or 1.8%, at $1,421.35 an ounce.
Trades in other Comex metals as of 2:15 PM ET (18:15 GMT):
Palladium futures up $27.55, or 2%, at $1,406.15 per ounce.
Platinum futures up $12.80, or 1.4%, at $904.10 per ounce.
Silver futures up 1.4 cents, or 0.1%, at $14.95 per ounce.
Copper futures down 4.6 cents, or 1.6%, at $2.92 per pound.