New York: Gold prices were close to their lowest in around four weeks on Tuesday as robust economic data from the United States and China tempered concerns of a global slowdown, boosting the dollar and riskier assets.

Spot gold was up 0.1 per cent at $1,288.79 (Dh4,733.72) per ounce at 1148 GMT, having touched its lowest since March 7 at $1,284.76 earlier. US gold futures were unchanged at $1,293.80 an ounce.

“Gold continues to struggle with the bullishness we are seeing across the other sectors... Today, the primary driver is the continuous strength of the dollar,” said Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen.

“[Global slowdown] concerns are most certainly easing. It’s too early to say they are gone but they have eased, and with that, also the need to have protection.”

Gold is seen as a hedge against political and economic uncertainty.

World stocks hovered just under a six-month high, supported by strong manufacturing data from the United States and China, while the dollar index rose to a three-week high against a basket of rival currencies, making bullion expensive for holders of other currencies.

Investors are also keeping a close watch on Sino-US trade negotiations, set to resume later this week in Washington with a Chinese delegation led by Vice-Premier Liu He.

Indicating investor sentiment, holdings in the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, fell 1.5 per cent on Monday, their biggest one-day percentage decline in a month.

The $1,275-80 level remains the key area of attention and break below that could signal a deeper correction, Saxo Bank’s Hansen said.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Theresa May will chair a five-hour cabinet meeting on Tuesday in an attempt to plot a course out of the Brexit maelstrom as she comes under pressure to either leave the European Union without a deal or call an election.

“Though gold prices have struggled in lieu of competing influences, increasing signs of economic weakness will remain supportive towards haven appeal in 2019,” Phillip Futures said in a note.

Among other precious metals, spot palladium was down 0.8 per cent at $1,409.40 an ounce. Silver slipped 0.6 per cent to $15.02 per ounce, while platinum fell 0.1 per cent to $846.59.