CHICAGO, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose on Wednesday as investors prepared for a possible new stimulus package.
The most active gold contract for February delivery rose 3.8 U.S. dollars, or 0.2 percent, to close at 1,859.1 dollars per ounce.
U.S. Congress is close to reach a new COVID-19 relief and stimulus bill, triggering inflation worries and driving investors to the precious metal as a safe haven.
Downbeat economic figures released on Wednesday also supported gold. IHS Markit reported that its manufacturing and services purchasing managers indexes fell to 56.5 and 55.3 in December, down from 56.7 and 58.4, respectively.
U.S. Department of Commerce reported that U.S. retail sales dropped by 1.1 percent in November.
The Federal Open Market Committee closed shortly after the market closed. The Federal Reserve predicted slower job growth in 2021 and 2022, and noted weaker demand was holding down inflation and it will continue purchasing bonds until substantial progress was made on economic goals.
Silver for March delivery rose 40.8 cents, or 1.66 percent, to close at 25.052 dollars per ounce. Platinum for January delivery fell 3.9 dollars, or 0.38 percent, to close at 1,035.4 dollars per ounce.