Gold loses shine as price hits four-month low

Gold prices fell to a low of $1,253.56 on Thursday. (Reuters)
Updated 08 December 2017
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Gold loses shine as price hits four-month low

LONDON: Gold slid to its lowest in four months on Thursday as a bounce in the dollar sparked by optimism over US tax reform plans sent the metal out of its recent narrow trading range.
Prices had been hemmed between $1,265 and $1,300 an ounce since mid-October as a series of record highs in stock markets pulled investment interest from bullion while traders also awaited an expected increase to US interest rates this month.
Gold broke out of that range this week, extending losses after slipping below its 200-day moving average at $1,267. The price on Thursday touched its lowest since Aug. 8 at $1,253.56 an ounce.
“We’ve had a (breakdown) of support at $1,260, which is a key level,” said ActivTrades Chief Analyst Carlo Alberto de Casa. “From a technical point of view, many traders had stop-losses just below $1,262, and today the market is going down for this reason.”
Strength in the dollar is feeding into this, he said, adding: “That the US dollar is recovering isn’t very welcome for the commodities market.”


Lebanon finance minister urges new reforms after Moody’s report

Updated 14 December 2018
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Lebanon finance minister urges new reforms after Moody’s report

  • Lebanon credit default swaps surge
  • Political wrangling adds to fiscal woes

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s finance minister said on Friday that a decision by Moody’s rating agency to change the country’s outlook to negative from stable proved the need to form a government and launch reforms.
Moody’s changed Lebanon’s outlook on Thursday while affirming its B3 rating, reflecting what it called an increase in risks to the government’s liquidity position and the country’s financial stability.
Saddled with a stagnant economy and the world’s third-highest rate of debt as a proportion of gross domestic product, Lebanon is also mired in political wrangling, with rival parties unable to form a government since May’s parliamentary election.
“Moody’s report today... confirms the importance of forming a government and starting reforms to restore confidence, reduce risks and reduce the deficit,” Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil wrote in a tweet.
“This is possible now, but we may lose the opportunity in months if the outlook remains negative,” he added.
The cost of insuring Lebanese sovereign debt against default this week rose to its highest level since the global financial crisis of 2008.
Overnight interbank rates for Lebanese pounds hit a 2018 high of 75 percent on Thursday. Two sources Reuters spoke to on Friday familiar with the rate said it had stayed at that level, while two others said it had dropped a bit.
The rates have not been this high since November 2017, when Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri announced, and then rescinded, his resignation in a declaration that Saudi Arabia was widely believed to have coerced him into making.
“Once you have a government, it will have a positive impact on the market. Demand for dollars will decrease and things will go down again to the normal situation,” said one trader.