Forexpros - Gold futures were up on Wednesday, re-approaching the intraday record high after disappointing data on U.S. service sector activity and factory orders added to signs of sluggish U.S. economic growth.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for October delivery traded at USD1,672.05 a troy ounce during U.S. morning trade, gaining 0.85%.
It earlier rose as much as 0.97% to trade at a record high of USD1,674.15 a troy ounce, eclipsing the previous high of USD1667.65 a troy ounce it hit in the previous session.
The U.S. Institute of Supply Management said earlier that its non-manufacturing purchasing manager's index fell to 52.7 in July, confounding expectations for a gain to 53.8.
The New Orders Index registered 49.2, indicating contraction for the first time since June 2009, when it registered 48.9.
A separate report showed that U.S. factory orders fell by a seasonally adjusted 0.8% in June, above expectations for a 0.5% decline.
Also Wednesday, payroll processing firm ADP said that U.S. non-farm private employment rose by 114K in July, outstripping expectations for a gain of 100K.
However, the previous month's figure was revised down to a gain of 145K from a previously reported 157K.
Gold prices found further support after data from the International Monetary Fund showed that Thailand's central bank purchased nearly 18.66 tonnes of gold in June, taking its total holdings of the precious metal to 127.52 tonnes.
The news comes a day after Korea's central bank said it purchased 25 tonnes of gold between June and July for the first time in over a decade, reflecting the trend among central banks to diversify their foreign reserves and increase gold holdings.
Elsewhere on the Comex, silver for September delivery rallied 2.65% to trade at USD41.83 a troy ounce, the highest price since May 4 as investors sought a cheaper alternative to gold.