Gold prices inched higher in Asia on Tuesday after upbeat figures from China on industrial output aided the metal complex.
Gold for April delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 0.10% to $1,204.25 a troy ounce. Copper futures gained 0.15% to $2.632 a pound.
China reported fixed asset investment for January rose 8.9%, beating an 8.2% gain expected year-on-year, industrial production rose 6.3%, higher than the 6.2% increase seen, while retail sales showed a 9.5% gain, missing the expected 10.5% increase.
Earlier in Australia, NAB reported business confidence for February came in a plus-7, compared with a previous reading of plus-10, along with the NAB business survey at plus-9, compared with a previous reading of plus-16.
Overnight, gold prices traded slightly higher on Monday, as political jitters from Europe supported demand for the yellow-metal while the possibility of a U.S. rate hike later this week capped further gains.
Gold held firm in early morning trade on Monday, after investors braced for a fresh round of political uncertainty from Europe ahead of the Dutch parliamentary election on Wednesday. Although the risk of a Eurosceptic party emerging as victorious is slim, the Dutch election represents a high volatile scenario as it comes ahead of the French elections.
Upside momentum in the yellow-metal remained capped as political uncertainty continued to play second fiddle to expectations that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates on Wednesday following the conclusion of its two-day meeting on March 14-15.
According to Investing.com’s Fed rate monitor tool, 93% of traders expect a rate hike in March.
Gold is sensitive to moves in U.S. interest rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion, while boosting the dollar in which it is priced.