Gold prices advanced on Thursday, as U.S. stock indices were headed to end their three-session rally.
Gold prices for April delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange’s Comex division settled at $1,226.30 an ounce, up 1.2%.
The yellow precious metal rose amid indications that the Federal Reserve would slow the pace of U.S. interest rate hikes this year. Lower rates support the brightness of precious metals that don’t offer a yield.
As of 2:24 p.m. in New York, the S&P 500 fell 0.3% at 1,922, the 30-member Dow Jones Industrial was down less than 0.1% at 16,447, while the tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite had a sharp slump of 0.7% at 4,502.
The three indices had gained an average of five percent over the past three sessions, paring losses they have incurred since the beginning of the year.
Minutes from the Fed’s recent meeting released Wednesday afternoon hinted that the U.S. central bank is concerned about the slowdown in the global economy—a position that could be supportive for gold prices.
The SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold ETF, was up two percent at $117.79.
Gold has surged 16% this year. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 has seen a six-percent drop and the NASDAQ has slid 10%.