Gold eases from 2-week high as economic recovery hopes grow

Gold prices inched lower on Wednesday, retreating from a two-week high hit in the previous session, as a raft of strong U.S. data boosted hopes of a quick economic recovery.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was down 0.2% to $1,739.46 per ounce by 0127 GMT. Gold futures slipped 0.1% to $1,740.90 per ounce.

* Bullion prices had jumped on Tuesday to their highest since March 25 at $1,745.15, as U.S. Treasury yields fell and the dollar slipped to a two-week low against a basket of currencies.

* Asia equities were set for a sluggish open on Wednesday after Wall Street pulled back from record highs reached in previous sessions.

* In the latest string of robust economic data, U.S. job openings rose to a two-year high in February while hiring picked up as strengthening domestic demand amid increased COVID-19 vaccinations and additional pandemic aid from the government boost companies’ needs for more workers.

* The International Monetary Fund raised its outlook for global economic growth, forecasting worldwide output would rise 6% this year.

* SPDR Gold Trust , the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.4% to 1,029.04 tonnes on Tuesday from 1,032.83 tonnes on Monday.

* Perth Mint’s gold sales climbed to their highest since at least 2012 in March, the refiner said in a blog post.

* Silver fell 0.3% to $25.10 and palladium was down 0.4% to $2,674.91. Platinum rose 0.6% to $1,240.40.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0600 UK Reserve Assets Total March 0750 France Markit Serv, Comp PMIs March 0755 Germany Markit Services PMI March 0755 Germany Markit Comp Final PMI March 0800 EU Markit Serv, Comp Final PMIs March 1430 US International Trade Feb 1800 Federal Open Market Committee will release the minutes from its March 16 – 17 policy meeting

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