Gold prices hit new session highs on strong US data

Gold prices rose Wednesday, as better-than-expected US job data hinted to a possible inflation comeback, enhancing gold’s appeal as a hedge against higher consumer prices.

Spot gold, lower initially, rose 0.5% to $1,237.71 an ounce by 1515 GMT, while gold for April delivery, the most actively traded contract, was recently up 0.9% at $1,241.40 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Prices have climbed about 16% this year in the face of tumbling equities and fears of a global economic slowdown.

Private-sector hiring unexpectedly climbed in February, a report from payroll processor Automatic Data Processing Inc. and forecasting firm Moody’s Analytics showed Wednesday.

Investors will be watching closely the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report on nonfarm jobs, set to be released this Friday, and the impact it may have on stocks and the Federal Reserve's monetary policy.

Bullion prices have climbed about 16% this year in the face of tumbling equities and fears of a global economic slowdown.

Gold prices hit new session highs on strong US data