Gold Steadies as U.S. Data Offers Mild Safe-Haven Support – The good news for gold bugs is there’s always some news on economic uncertainty out there to keep the yellow metal from collapsing.

The bad news is there hasn’t been enough news of economic uncertainty lately to push prices back above the key $1,300 level.

Bullion and futures of gold rose on Tuesday as latest U.S. data renewed worries about growth in the world’s largest economy.

Spot gold, reflective of trades in bullion, was at $1,291.62 an ounce by 2:42 PM ET (18:42 GMT), up $3.90, or 0.3%.

Gold futures for June delivery, traded on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, settled the official trading session at $1,295.4, up $1.20, or 0.1%, on the day.

Gold rose after the the U.S. Commerce Department reported that orders for durable goods, which are meant to last at least three years or more, fell 1.6% in February.

Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, dipped by 0.1% from a month earlier, the report said.

The durable-goods report came after data on Monday that showed U.S. manufacturing numbers for March were better than expected, in contrast to weak retail sales figures for the previous month also released this week.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, retreated on the data, to a reading of 96.92 after hitting a March 12 high of 97.10 earlier. Wall Street’s Dow and S&P 500 indexes paused as well from their recent rally. Both the dollar and equities are contrarian trades to gold.

“Gold is still taking a breather although worries globally about recession is lending support,” said George Gero, precious metals analyst at RBC Wealth Management in New York.

Palladium extended its run higher for a second-straight day in the $1,400 zone after last week’s rout that wiped out about $200 from the spot price of the auto-catalyst metal, used for purifying gasoline emissions.

Spot palladium rose by $9.50, or 0.7%, to $1,434 an ounce. While palladium has remained the world’s most expensive traded metal, it fell close to gold last week, trading less than $100 above the yellow metal after holding a premium of nearly $300 earlier in the year.

Trades in other Comex metals as of 2:42 PM ET (18:42 GMT):

Palladium futures up $9.20, or 0.7%, at $1,401 per ounce.

Platinum futures down 70 cents, or 0.1%, at $854.60 per ounce.

Silver futures down 4 cents, or 0.3%, at $15.06 per ounce.

Copper futures down 1 cent at $2.91 per pound.