"Today, global equities are weaker, there is some safe-haven buying, and buying ahead of the US Fed meeting next week," said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.
"If the Fed cuts rates in June, you’re going to see some substantial gains here in the precious metals market ... People are trying to get ahead of that and add some gold to their portfolio."
Global equities snapped a seven-day winning streak after US President Donald Trump said he had no interest in moving ahead with a trade deal with China unless Beijing agreed to four or five "major points."
Adding to concerns, US consumer prices barely rose in May, likely increasing pressure on the Fed to cut interest rates this year.
Fed policymakers will meet on June 18-19. Markets have priced in at least two US rate cuts by the end of 2019. Futures imply around an 80 percent chance of a rate cut as early as July.
Lower interest rates make safe-haven assets such as gold, which does not yield interest, more attractive while weighing on the dollar. The US currency was trading largely unchanged against a basket of currencies on Wednesday.
Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell marginally to 756.18 tons on Tuesday from 756.42 tons on Monday.
The gold bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage and regained momentum today," Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco, said in a note. He added that the next upside price target would be a close in August futures above June's high of $1,352.70.
Among other metals, silver was up 0.6 percent to $14.78 per ounce, while platinum dipped half a percent to $808.75 an ounce.
Palladium was trading more than one percent higher at $1,408.51, having hit a six-week high of $1,414.40 earlier in the session. The autocatalyst metal was trading higher for a fifth consecutive session.