Gold capped the longest rally since August 2012 as signs of sputtering U.S. economic expansion fueled bets that interest rates will stay low for longer.
Spot prices climbed for the sixth straight session, rising every day since Federal Reserve policy makers cut their projections for growth and suggested they aren’t in a hurry to raise borrowing costs. Higher rates usually send investors to assets with better yield prospects such as equities and bonds.
The dollar fell against a basket of 10 currencies as investors continued to adjust their outlook for the greenback in the wake of last week’s Fed meeting. U.S. orders for durable goods unexpectedly dropped in February, government data showed Wednesday. Gold slumped 29 percent in the previous two years as the dollar and equities surged, while inflation remained low.
“It’s too early to say if gold prices will start a new rally, but for now prices will remain supported because of the dollar drop,” Charlie Bilello, the director of research who helps oversee about $220 million of assets at New York-based Pension Partners LLC, said in a telephone interview. “The market expects no rate hike until September or October. The gold market will remain very U.S. data dependent.”
Gold for immediate delivery rose 0.2 percent to settle at $1,195.47 an ounce in New York, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. The metal reached $1,199.81, the highest since March 6, and gained 4 percent in six sessions.
Bookings for U.S. goods meant to last at least three years declined 1.4 percent last month, the Commerce Department said. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast orders would rise 0.2 percent.