Gold futures climbed as a slump in orders for U.S. durable goods signaled that weaker foreign economies are weighing on American expansion, boosting demand for haven assets.

Demand for all durable goods — items meant to last at least three years — declined 3.4 percent, the worst performance since August, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Slowing expansion may prompt the Federal Reserve to hold off on raising interest rates. Policy makers will meet this week.

The metal is up more than 9 percent this year as stagnating economies challenge policy makers to generate new ways to buoy growth. The euro traded near an 11-year low against the dollar after the European Central Bank last week expanded its bond-buying program to include government bonds, boosting demand for gold as an alternative to currencies that are being revalued.

Gold futures for April delivery rose 1 percent to settle at $1,292.90 an ounce at 1:55 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices climbed in the previous three weeks.

Silver futures for March delivery gained 0.6 percent to $18.084 an ounce on the Comex.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for April delivery added 0.7 percent to $1,264.30 an ounce, while March palladium futures fell 0.1 percent to $780.75 an ounce.

Source : Bloomberg