Investing.com - Gold prices rose to a six-month high on Wednesday, while copper collapsed to the lowest level since July 2010 as investors continued to monitor the standoff in Ukraine and amid fears over the health of China’s economy.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for April delivery rose to a session high of $1,363.20 a troy ounce, the most since September 20.
Gold last traded at $1,355.90 an ounce during U.S. morning hours, up 0.68%, or $9.20. Gold picked up 0.39%, or $5.20 an ounce, on Tuesday to settle at $1,346.70.
Futures were likely to find support at $1,327.50 a troy ounce, the low from March 10 and resistance at $1,366.50, the high from September 20.
Meanwhile, silver for May delivery advanced 0.55%, or $0.11 cents, to trade at $20.93 a troy ounce. Silver ended Tuesday’s session down 0.45%, or $0.09 cents, to settle at $20.81 an ounce.
Silver futures were likely to find support at $20.67 a troy ounce, the low from March 11 and resistance at $21.32, the high from March 11.
Investors continued to monitor events in Ukraine, where tension over moves by neighboring Russia in the Crimean region have heightened demand for safe haven assets.
Ukraine’s interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk was to travel to the U.S. to meet President Barack Obama on Wednesday, as diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis continued.
Meanwhile, market players looked ahead to key U.S. economic data later in the week for further indications on the strength of the economy and the future course of monetary policy.
The U.S. is to release closely-watched data on retail sales for February on Thursday and a report on consumer sentiment on Friday.
Data released last week showed that the U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs in February, well above expectations for 149,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate ticked up to 6.7% from 6.6% in January, as more people joined the workforce.
The upbeat jobs report eased concerns over soft U.S. economic data seen in the past few months and underlined the view that the Federal Reserve is likely to continue to gradually taper its bond-buying program.
Elsewhere on the Comex, copper futures extended losses from the previous session to hit a daily low of $2.908 a pound, the weakest since July 2010. Copper last traded at $2.939 a pound, down 0.45%.
Copper has been under heavy selling pressure in recent sessions as growing concerns over the health of China’s economy dampened demand for growth-linked assets.
In addition, there were concerns over the state of the country''s corporate sector. Investors remained jittery over signs of weakness in the bond market after last week''s default by Chinese solar company Chaori Shanghai Solar Energy Science & Technology Co.
On Wednesday, the focus was on Shanghai-based Baoding Tianwei Baobian Electric Co., a power equipment manufacturer for the new energy sector. Shares in the company sank more than 5% in Shanghai, while its corporate bond was suspended for a second day, after it reported a full-year net loss for the second consecutive year, which led to a delisting warning.
Concerns over domestic bond defaults stoked investor worries that financing deals that have locked up vast quantities of copper could unravel.