Gold rose after a survey showed that manufacturing in the U.S. barely expanded last month, casting doubt on the health of the U.S. economy.
The price of gold for delivery in April rose $20.10, or 1.6 percent, to $1,259.90 an ounce.
Gold has risen about 5 percent this year, as U.S. economic reports have fallen short of investors’ expectations and amid concern that growth in China is slowing. The metal plunged last year as investors grew more optimistic about the U.S. economy.
“If the Chinese picture changes and U.S. growth slows, sentiment could change in terms of a positive global growth story to a more mixed one,” said Edward Meir, a metals analyst at INTL FCStone. “Gold can do well in that kind of environment.”
Gold also rose as U.S. stocks continued their rough start to the year. The stock market had its worst day in more than seven months Monday.
In other metals trading, silver for March delivery rose 29 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $19.41 an ounce. Platinum for April climbed $10.90, or 0.8 percent, to $1,386.60 an ounce.
Copper for March delivery fell 1.4 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $3.18 per pound. Palladium for the same month fell 0.5 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $702.70 an ounce.
In energy trading, the price of oil fell on concern that slowing growth in China and the U.S. would crimp demand. The benchmark contract for U.S. crude for March delivery was down $1.06, or 1.1 percent, to $96.43.
Wholesale gasoline was down 2.45 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $2.61 a gallon. Heating oil rose 1 cent, or 0.3 percent, to $3 a gallon. Natural gas fell 3.8 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $4.91 per 1,000 cubic feet.
In agricultural products, wheat, soybeans and corn all rose.
Wheat for March delivery gained 8 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $5.64 a bushel. Soybeans for the same month rose 10 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $12.93 a bushel. March corn gained 1.75 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $4.36 a bushel.