Gold prices hit record highs near $2,300 as Taiwan quake dents risk appetite

1– Gold prices rose in Asian trade on Wednesday, remaining in sight of record highs amid increased safe haven demand after a devastating earthquake in Taiwan, while uncertainty over U.S. interest rates also boosted gold demand. 

A broad sell-off in stock markets, as risk appetite deteriorated, also fueled demand for gold, even as the dollar and U.S. Treasury yields shot up tracking hawkish comments from top Federal Reserve officials. 

Risk appetite was dealt a fresh blow on Wednesday after an earthquake in Taiwan battered the island’s infrastructure and its top chipmaking factories, while also sparking Tsunami warnings in parts of Japan. 

rose 0.3% to $2,286.40 an ounce, remaining in sight of a record high of $2,288.43 hit on Tuesday, while expiring in June rose 1.1% to $2,306.25 an ounce and were just below lifetime highs of $2,308.85 an ounce by 00:47 ET (04:47 GMT). 

The yellow metal was further encouraged by the retreating from 4-½ month highs on Wednesday. 

Gold prices keep $2,300 in sight despite Fed pressure

Increased safe haven demand helped gold prices largely power past increased concerns over higher for longer U.S. interest rates.

Several Fed officials said in separate addresses that sticky inflation and strength in the labor market could potentially delay the Fed’s plans to cut interest rates. 

Their comments came just days before key data for March, due this Friday. The data has consistently beaten expectations in recent months, amid persistent strength in the U.S. labor space. 

Other precious metals also benefited from improved safe haven demand and dollar weakness. rose 0.3% to $940.05 an ounce, while rose 2.2% to $26.480 an ounce. 

Copper prices encouraged by positive Chinese data 

Among industrial metals, copper prices rose on Wednesday and remained in sight of recent 11-month highs, following positive purchasing managers index (PMI) data from top importer China.

on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.6% to $9,070.50 a ton, while rose 0.5% to $4.1022 a pound.

Private PMI data on Wednesday showed growth in China’s improved in March. The reading came just days after positive official PMIs on China’s , which signaled improving economic conditions in the world’s largest copper importer.