Gold futures inch higher on summit's eve
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Gold futures ended a seesawing session on Wednesday with mild gains as investors continued to look ahead to a summit of European leaders.
Gold for August delivery (GCQ2) added $3.50, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,578.40 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices traded as high as $1,584.60 an ounce, according to FactSet, in a jump around 8:20 a.m. Eastern.
Gold struggled for direction in a day most metals traded lower, but oil and U.S. stocks gained, said Matt Zeman, head trader with Kingsview Finance in Chicago.
"There's no clear-cut direction, everybody is waiting for the EU summit," he said. "You probably are seeing some positioning ahead of that."
Some good news on the macroeconomic front supported oil and stocks.
Pending home sales in the U.S. climbed 5.9% in May to a two-year high, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday.
Also Wednesday, the Commerce Department said orders of long-lasting goods rose 1.1% in May following declines in the previous two months.
The precious metal declined in Tuesday's session as investors absorbed more negative European developments ahead of the two-day meeting, which begins Thursday.
Germany was unenthusiastic about a plan to tighten fiscal integration across the euro zone and a European banking union ahead of the summit. Read more on the EU's fiscal road map.
The strain on the continent has created some upside for gold in recent weeks, as global uncertainty fueled demand for the metal as a safe store of value.
Nearly as often, however, gold has succumbed to worries about the global slowdown and the euro zone's debt crisis, and has declined alongside other assets considered risky.
Elsewhere in the metals suite, July platinum (PLN2) ended the day down $17.10, or 1.2%, at $1,409.70 an ounce, while September palladium slid $13.95, or 2.4%, at $579.75 an ounce.