Gold bars are displayed at Degussa shop in Singapore. Picture: REUTERS
Gold bars are displayed at Degussa shop in Singapore. Picture: REUTERS

Bengaluru — Gold prices on Wednesday held near four-and-a-half-month lows touched in the previous session as economic data from China tempered concern about global growth, boosting risk appetite.

Spot gold was broadly steady at $1,276.31 per ounce by 11.29am GMT, having fallen as much as 1.2% to $1,272.70, its lowest since December 27, on Tuesday.

US gold futures were up 0.1% at $1,278.50 an ounce.

"Investors are betting on the recovery of markets and that's mostly what's pulling gold down. The main market driver is moving from central banks to what is happening in the stock markets," said Carlo Alberto de Casa, chief analyst with ActivTrades.

Data showed China's economic growth in the first quarter remained steady at 6.4%, beating expectations for a 6.3% expansion.

World stocks inched higher after a raft of Chinese data signalled Beijing's recent stimulus drive might be paying off.

Gold prices have fallen more than 5% since touching a 10-month peak in February.

On the technical front, gold's break below key support levels, including the 100- and 50-day moving averages, signalled a further downside to prices, analysts and traders said.

"From a technical point of view, the fall below $1,280 is a weak signal, with prices having already come below the 100-day moving average," De Casa said.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell to a near six-month low of 752.27 tonnes on Tuesday. Holdings are down 4.5% so far in 2019.

Further weakness in gold is possible in the near term, potentially testing the $1,259 level, which is likely to hold, Commerzbank technical analyst Karen Jones wrote in a note.

Meanwhile, silver gained 0.2% to $15.00 an ounce. Spot platinum rose 1.2% to $887 per ounce, while palladium climbed 1.2% to $1,365.78.