03-10-2018 04:00 PM

Gold prices climbed more than 1% on Tuesday, climbing back above the psychologically significant $1,200 level along with increased safe-haven demand as worries over Italy’s fiscal issues touched financial markets.

Traders’ worries over Italy deepened Tuesday once the head of the lower house's budget committee said the country would have resolved its fiscal problems with its own currency.

The remarks added to a heated discussion of words with the European Union over the populist government’s budget plan, which seeks to boost spending and cut taxes, but would raise Italy's debt and breach EU budget rules.

Gold’s gains came regardless of good dollar strength, with the U.S. dollar index, against a basket of six major currencies, up 0.2% at 95.15.

Gold ended the third quarter down 4.6% after dropping 0.9% in September, as mounting U.S. interest rates and the dollar’s march higher weighed.

Interest rate increases and higher U.S. bond yields reduced thedemand for gold, which proposes no capitulation.