Investing.com - Gold prices marked a fresh six-month high on Wednesday as recent risk-off sentiment drove investors towards the safe haven precious metal while U.S. President Donald Trump held fast in his insistence for border funding in order to reopen the government.
At 8:57 AM ET (13:57 GMT), gold futures for February delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose $5.75, or 0.45%, to $1,277.55 a troy ounce. Its intraday peak of $1,279.85 was its highest level since June 19.
Contrary to U.S. stocks, which saw their worst Christmas Eve performance ever, leaving Wall Street on track for its worst December on record, gold has been getting a bid this month as investors take risk off the table at the end of the year. As stocks tumbled on Monday, gold shot up 1%, putting the precious metal on track for monthly gains of 4%.
Political turmoil in Washington, which led to a partial government shutdown on Saturday, remained in focus as Trump doubled-down on his promise to not reopen the government until he obtains funding for his southern border wall.
“I can't tell you when the government is going to reopen,” Trump said, speaking after a Christmas Day video conference with U.S. troops serving abroad. “I can tell you it's not going to reopen until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they'd like to call it. I'll call it whatever they want, but it's all the same thing. It's a barrier from people pouring into the country, from drugs.”
He added: “If you don't have (the wall), then we're just not opening.”
Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management said "markets are now having to grapple with growing turmoil in the White House which has raised political risk.''
In other metals trading, silver futures gained 1.13% at $14.988 a troy ounce by 8:59 AM ET (13:59 GMT).
Palladium futures rose 0.44% to $1,181.25 an ounce, while sister metal platinum advanced 1.06% at $797.75.
In base metals, copper traded up 0.694% to $2.686 a pound.
-- Reuters contributed to this report.