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Gold rises as global growth worries boost safe-haven appeal

Gold gained on Wednesday (October 02, 2019 ) after weaker-than-expected U.S. economic data exacerbated concerns about global growth and increased prospects of further interest rate cuts, driving investors towards the safe-haven metal.

Spot gold was up 0.4% at $1,484.75 per ounce as of 1106 GMT. Prices had hit a near two-month low of $1,458.50 on Tuesday, before climbing as much as 1% during the session.

U.S. gold futures edged 0.1% higher to $1,490 an ounce.

"Gold has found multiple lifelines. We had really disappointing economic data from the United States, this is flashing warning signs and fuelling concerns of slowing economic growth, which is also fuelling speculation of lower interest rates," said FXTM analyst Lukman Otunuga.

U.S. manufacturing activity tumbled to a more than 10-year low in September as lingering trade tensions weighed on exports.

The weak economic report intensified global growth fears, sending global shares to a one-month low and raising expectations for further monetary policy easing by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

"The precious metal is positioned to push higher this week if risk aversion remains a dominant market theme. Looking at the technical picture, an intraday breakout above $1,485 should inspire an incline towards the psychological $1,500 level," FXTM's Otunuga said.

The U.S. data also prompted President Donald Trump to lash out at the Fed, saying the central bank has kept interest rates "too high", with a strong dollar hurting U.S. factories.

The poor data lifted the Fed funds rate futures price sharply, with the November contract now pricing in about an 80% chance the U.S. Federal Reserve will cut interest rates during a meeting on Oct. 30, compared to just over 50% before the data.

Lower interest rates decrease the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion and weigh on the dollar, making gold cheaper for investors holding other currencies.

Meanwhile, the dollar rose, recovering overnight losses and stemming bullion's advance.

Markets now await U.S. ADP employment numbers due at 1215 GMT, which will set the stage for non-farm payroll numbers on Friday.

"I think the market does not want to rush ahead of the non-farm payroll data in case there is a surprise hit," said AxiTrader market strategist Stephen Innes. "Investors are a bit scared. This will probably inhibit people from jumping back into the (gold) bandwagon over the near term. They are going to need some convincing."

Among other precious metals, silver gained 0.2% to $17.26 per ounce. Platinum edged 0.1% higher to $877.09 an ounce, while palladium rose 0.8% to $1,664.90.