Gold was down on Wednesday morning in Asia, ending March on a lower note as China reported faster-than-expected growth in its factory activity and U.S. Treasury yields climbed.
Gold futures were down 0.42% at $1,679 by 13:15 PM ET (5:15 AM GMT). The dollar, which usually trades inversely to gold, edged up on Wednesday.
China released data earlier in the day that said that the manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 51.9 in March, higher than both the 51 in forecasts prepared by Investing.com and February’s 50.6 reading. The non-manufacturing PMI also rose to 56.3, above its February reading of 51.4. February’s Lunar New Year holidays were different in 2021, with workers unable to make their customary journey to their hometowns due to an outbreak of COVID-19, which meant factories could return to pre-holiday levels quicker than usual.
The U.S. 10-year Treasury yield also rose as far as 1.776% on Tuesday, its highest level since Jan. 22, as the country also released positive economic data. Tuesday’s Conference Board CB Consumer Confidence Index climbed to 109.7 in March, the highest level since the beginning of COVID-19. Forecasts prepared by Investing.com predicted a 96.9 figure, while the index was at 90.4 in February.
Investors now await the U.S. employment report for March, including non-farm payrolls, which is due out on Friday. The Federal Reserve remains optimistic about the U.S. economic outlook, as the vaccination program quickens its pace and government aid trickles down to households and businesses but will maintain a dovish stance on interest rates.
The International Monetary Fund will also raise its forecast for global economic growth in 2021 and 2022 from the 3.5% contraction recorded in 2020, managing director Kristalina Georgieva said on Tuesday.
In other precious metals, silver was steady at $24.01, while platinum was up 0.5% and palladium rose 0.7%. Investing.com