Gold prices were slightly higher in range-bound trade on Wednesday as investors looked ahead to a slew of central bank meetings next week for clues on the pace of rate hikes.
Mounting concerns of a global recession and weak trade data from China weighed on riskier assets, helping offer some support for bullion.
Spot gold edged up 0.1 percent to $1,773.53 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures were up 0.2 percent at $1,785.45.
Markets eye central bank decisions, with the European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve all due to hold their monetary policy meetings next week.
Interest rates will go up again, though they are now “very near” their neutral level, ECB policymaker Constantinos Herodotou said on Tuesday.
The Fed is largely expected to hike interest rates by 50 basis points at its FOMC meeting next week, a step down from its four straight 75-basis-point interest rate hikes.
Another 50-basis-point increase is expected at its February FOMC meeting, according to the CME’s FedWatch Tool.
The U.S. economic calendar remains relatively quiet today, with revised data on labor productivity and costs in the third quarter due.
Data released earlier today showed that China’s exports and imports both shrank to their weakest level since mid-2020 in November.
Elsewhere, official data showed that German industrial production dropped 0.1 percent on a monthly basis in October, slower than the expected fall of 0.6 percent.
Separately, U.K. housing market continued to slow in November as house prices decreased for a third month in a row and at the steepest rate in over 14 years, survey results from the Lloyds Bank unit Halifax and S&P Global showed.