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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Gold at 5-month low, socked by U.S. yields and dollar

Gold at 5-month low, socked by U.S. yields and dollar
© Reuters.

 

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Investing.com — Gold tumbled to a five-month low Thursday as surging U.S. Treasury yields and a strong dollar delivered a one-two punch to bulls in the yellow metal.

With the spot price of bullion already in $1,800 territory, it’s not certain how much longer those long gold futures can hang to the $1,900 ropes.

“Treasury yields as the risk-free rate for 10-years in the U.S. nears cycle highs at 4.30% while gold continues to yield 0%,” economist Adam Button wrote on the ForexLive forum. “That’s a powerful difference for investors and treasury managers with long investment horizons.”

“I would expect to see strong buying in the $1,820-$1,830 range but not before,” added Button. “If anything, we could be closing in on an ugly breakdown.”

Gold futures’ most-active December contract on New York’s Comex settled at $1,915.20 per ounce, down $13.10, or 0.7%, on the day.

Spot gold, which tracks real-time physical dealings in bullion and is more closely followed than futures by some gold traders, was below the $1,890 in Thursday’s late afternoon trade in New York. By 15:30 ET (19:30 GMT), spot gold was at $1,888.53, down $3.40, or 0.3%.

Fed minutes boost dollar, yields

The minutes of the Fed’s July meeting showed on Wednesday that most members of the rate-setting committee supported higher interest rates to curb sticky inflation.

While officials were divided over the need for more hikes, they still posited more upside risks to inflation – a scenario that could eventually attract more rate increases by the central bank. U.S. inflation also read higher for July.

The dollar shot up to a near two-month high after the minutes, while benchmark 10-year Treasury yields reached their highest levels in nearly 10 months. Yields were also close to reaching levels last seen during the 2008 financial crisis.

The prospect of higher U.S. interest rates bodes poorly for gold, given that it increases the opportunity cost of investing in non-yielding assets. This notion had battered the yellow metal through 2022, and is expected to keep weighing on gold until the Fed decides to begin trimming rates.

But analysts expect the Fed to keep rates high for at least the next six months, with Goldman Sachs forecasting a rate cut only by mid-2024.

(Additional reporting by Ambar Warrick in Singapore)

Source: Investing.com

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