Gold prices on Tuesday headed for a second straight gain and their highest level in about seven weeks, as the yellow metal scores some defensive positioning bets ahead of the Christmas holiday on Wednesday, market experts said.
Meanwhile, gold prices on Comex set to end an hour early at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time and will be closed on Wednesday for Christmas.
Trading gains for the precious metal came even as stock benchmarks, which tend to move in the opposite direction of gold prices, rose to records -- typically, a reflection of strong appetite for assets perceived as risky and away from those viewed as havens.
“Continuing to defy the broader risk-on atmosphere, was gold.” wrote Marios Hadjikyriacos, investment analyst at XM. He said some traders preparing for trade in 2020 view this as good time to purchase some gold to hedge their bets after a strong run for equity indexes.
“After such a strong year, when almost every single asset class was up double digits, this is probably a prudent time to ‘play some defense’ and hedge your risk heading into 2020, especially with gold prices trading at a minor discount relative to recent months,” Hadjikyriacos wrote.
Gold for February delivery gained $4.40, or 0.3%, at $1,493.20 an ounce, but had touched an intraday high at $1,496.90, which would mark the highest settlement since Nov. 4, according to FactSet data.
March silver tacked on 14 cents, or 0.8%, to trade at $17.63 an ounce.
By Mark DeCambre MarketWatch Updated Dec. 24, 2019 8:37 am ET | WSJ Pro