Spot gold was up 0.6 percent at $1,304.41 per ounce, having hit its highest since March 28 at $1,306.09. U.S. gold futures were up 0.6 percent at $1,309.20.
“The main reason is the fact that the IMF downgraded global economic growth from 3.5 down to 3.3 percent; that coupled with news over the weekend that China was upping their gold stockpiles has gold trading higher at the moment,” said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.
“It’s (IMF forecast) got little jitters out there in the markets, some flight to safety buying just based of that. We’ll see a move back to $1,325 over the next two weeks or so.”
The IMF on Tuesday cut its global growth forecasts for 2019 and warned growth could slow further due to trade tensions and a potentially disorderly British exit from the European Union.
China, the world’s biggest gold consumer, raised its gold reserves for a fourth straight month in March, when Turkey also increased holdings.
The dollar index fell to its lowest in more than a week, while Wall Street’s main indexes opened lower on trade concerns.
Data on Tuesday showed the U.S. job openings fell to 7.087 million in February, piling on to lacklustre data including a modest dip in new orders for U.S.-made goods, and last week’s non-farm payrolls data, which signalled a slowdown in wage growth.
“With some questionable data here in the U.S. and abroad, there would be a stronger need for safe haven assets and gold would certainly lead that charge,” said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures.
“In the short term, we believe gold is continuing its slow grind sideways to higher.”
Investors are now awaiting minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s March meeting on Wednesday.
The upward momentum in bullion was yet to reflect on the investment side, with holdings of the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, falling for a sixth straight session on Monday.
Among other precious metals, spot platinum slipped 0.2 percent to $903.20 per ounce, after touching its highest since the end of May last year in the previous session.
Palladium was up 0.5 percent at $1,390.62 an ounce, while silver gained 0.2 percent at $15.27.