Metals Stocks: Gold prices add to climb above $1,600, try for 5th straight gain

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Gold futures rose on Wednesday, putting the precious metal on track to register a fifth straight gain, as investors continued to buy the safe haven asset even though securities seen as risky also gained altitude on the back a slowing spread of China’s coronavirus.

Some investors have attributed the climb in bullion, despite some factors that should weigh on it, to comparatively weaker government bond yields and a Federal Reserve that has kept interest rates low.

“Meanwhile, gold continues its move higher in the face of a stronger dollar and that is because real rates continue to decline and I remain very bullish on gold,” wrote Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group, in a Wednesday research report.

Gold for April delivery GCJ20, +0.22%  on Comex rose $4.40, or 0.3%, at $1,608 an ounce after surging 1.1% on Tuesday, marking its highest settlement and intraday level for a most-active contract since March 2013, according to FactSet data.

March silver SIH20, +0.66%  picked up 16 cents, or 0.9%, at $18.305 an ounce, extending its climb to its highest finish since early January of this year.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield TMUBMUSD10Y, +0.71% was at 1.56%, at last check. Low yields can make precious metals, which don’t offer a coupon, more attractive to investors.

The minutes from the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee’s late January meeting are due out at 2 p.m. Eastern Time, a half-hour after metals are set to settle on Comex. The Fed’s account of its January meeting could shed light on how the central bank is factoring the global economic impact of China’s epidemic.

Read: Why silver prices may climb to their highest yearly average since 2014

Gold pared gains slightly after U.S. economic data published early Wednesday.

The U.S. producer-price index jumped 0.5% last month, the largest gain since the fall of 2018. Economists polled by MarketWatch had predicted a 0.2% advance. And a report on housing showed that builders started construction on new homes in the U.S. at a pace of 1.57 million in January, the Commerce Department said Wednesday, representing a 3.6% decrease from a revised 1.63 million in December, but was 21.4% higher than a year ago.

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