Gold prices rebounded to end higher on Friday as global uncertainty kept investors cautious and looking for safe haven assets.
Gold for June delivery settled up 0.1% at $1,272.70 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, reversing losses from morning trading. Gold fell as low as $1,264.00 a troy ounce earlier in the session.
On Friday, strong retail sales data ignited some concerns that the Federal Reserve may raise short-term interest rates as early as June. Higher rates tend to weigh on gold, which pays holders nothing and struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when borrowing costs rise.
But Ira Epstein, a strategist with the Linn Group, said continuing low rates around the world, combined with fears that Britain may leave the European Union, will keep gold prices rising.
"There aren't a lot of investment vehicles to run to," Mr. Epstein said. "As people are looking for where to put money, the big inflow has been into gold."
George Gero, managing director at RBC Wealth Management, said gold's initial pullback Friday was driven by short- term traders and based on daily headlines. However, long-term investors are still worried about economic and political uncertainty throughout the year, he said.
"I think you're seeing more people looking at the possibility of [monetary] stimulus" around the world, Mr. Gero said. "All that seems to point more to gold, as the inflows continue."