Spot gold climbed 1.3 percent to $1,258.76 per ounce by 1:55 p.m. ET, having reached $1,262.01 earlier in the session, a peak since July 9. U.S. gold futures settled at $1,267.90 per ounce, up $11.50.
“With the Fed being more hawkish (than expected), you would think the economy is doing really well but that’s not the case,” said Phil Streible, senior commodities strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago. “Equity markets are selling off, oil futures are continuing to decline as well and this is prompting investors’ flight to safety.
“There are also a number of other factors and it seems like gold has a pretty good wind behind the sails for it to move higher.”
The metal regained momentum after a brief dip on Wednesday, immediately following the Fed announcement to raise interest rates for the fourth time this year, with the central bank also signalling “some further gradual” hikes.
“When it brushes off negative news like it did yesterday, it generally indicates the market should continue to head higher,” Streible said.
Bolstering appeal for gold was a slide in the greenback, which hit a one-month trough earlier in the session as a not-so-dovish rate hike indication by the Fed increased market conjecture that the country’s economy may be running out of steam.
Concerns about global growth also seeped into the stock markets following the announcement, as worries of recession inflated, impairing risk sentiment.
“The subsequent sell-off in stocks and drop in bond yields soon attracted renewed buying interest and given the troubled economic outlook into 2019, we see the upside potentially for gold having been strengthened further by the Fed’s decision,” Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen said.
Pointing to improved appetite for the metal, holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, jumped to their highest level in four months this week.
Among other precious metals, palladium fell 1.8 percent to $1,236.99 per ounce, having hit a record high of $1,283.49 in the previous session. Boosted by concerns about a sustained deficit, the autocatalyst metal has been surpassing gold in brief spurts.
Silver rose .77 percent to $14.71 per ounce, having earlier hit its highest since Nov. 2 at $14.84 an ounce, while platinum rose 0.25 percent to $788.10.