Gold dips, heads for second weekly loss

Gold slipped on Friday, under pressure from tumbling equity markets, a firmer dollar and worries about rising global interest rates.
Updated 09 February 2018
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Gold dips, heads for second weekly loss

LONDON: Gold slipped on Friday, under pressure from tumbling equity markets, a firmer dollar and worries about rising global interest rates, but still found some support as a safe haven asset in times of market turmoil.
The dollar rose against a currency basket, heading for its best week since late October, while a 4 percent drop in Chinese shares dealt a fresh blow to world markets that have been reeling on worries about rising borrowing costs and soaring volatility.
“Just like any other commodity gold is getting caught up in risk reduction, but overall the stock market gyrations have most certainly provided underlying support,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank. Although the dollar had strengthened, he said investors were watching to see if the US administration’s planned tax cuts boosted the economy.
“If it doesn’t, it could have a negative growth impact, that’s not going to be dollar-positive,” he said.
A strong dollar makes dollar-priced gold costlier for non-US investors. Spot gold fell 0.2 percent to $1,316.61 an ounce at 1300 GMT. Prices touched their lowest since Jan. 4 at $1,306.81 on Thursday, and the precious metal is down 1 percent for the week so far, heading for a second straight weekly drop.
US gold futures were flat at $1,318.90 per ounce. The yield on benchmark 10-year US Treasuries , which tends to be the driver of global borrowing costs, was hovering at 2.86 percent, just short of both its Thursday peak and Monday’s four-year high of 2.885 percent.
“The threat of rising interest rates will have some downside pressure on gold,” said Argonaut Securities analyst Helen Lau. “However, in the near-term gold will gain due to volatile markets.”
Rising yields increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion. Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust , the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, have fallen over the last three sessions, and declined 1.7 percent so far this week, the worst since the week ended July 30, 2017.
Silver fell 0.4 percent to $16.36 an ounce, after touching its lowest since Dec. 22, 2017 at $16.22 on Thursday. Platinum rose 0.1 percent to $970.20 an ounce. It hit its lowest since Jan. 10 at $965 in the previous session. Palladium rose 0.9 percent to $971.47.
It marked its lowest since Oct. 25, 2017 at $958.95 on Thursday. “Following the recent declines, platinum and palladium are back to parity. Given our outlook for a slowdown in global car sales, we do not see the recent sell-off in palladium as a buying opportunity and maintain a bearish view,” said Julius Baer in a note.


World markets dive as Trump comments spark trade, North Korea worries

US President Donald Trump is continuing to drive uncertainty over global trade, said analyst Joshua Mahony at trading firm IG. (AFP)
Updated 23 May 2018
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World markets dive as Trump comments spark trade, North Korea worries

  • “Trump (is) continuing to drive uncertainty over global trade,” said analyst Joshua Mahony at trading firm IG
  • The euro briefly sank to $1.1699 — the lowest level since mid-November

LONDON: Global stocks sank Wednesday after US President Donald Trump said he was not satisfied with talks that are aimed at averting a trade war with China.
Equities were also dented by poor eurozone economic data, and as Trump cast doubt on a planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“Trump (is) continuing to drive uncertainty over global trade,” said analyst Joshua Mahony at trading firm IG.
“European markets are following their Asian counterparts lower, as a pessimistic tone from Trump is compounded by downbeat economic data,” he added.
Markets had surged Monday after US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said they had agreed to pull back from imposing threatened tariffs on billions of dollars of goods, and continue talks on a variety of trade issues.
However, Trump has declared that he was “not satisfied” with the status of the talks, fueling worries that the world’s top two economies could still slug out an economically painful trade war.
Investors sought to dump risky equities as they fretted over the news, as Trump also warned that there was “a very substantial chance it won’t work out” when asked about next month’s landmark talks with Kim.
He added the summit could be delayed or even called off if the North did not agree to give up its nuclear weapons.
“Markets traded lower ... as risk sentiment was dealt a blow by Trump who said that he was not pleased with how the talks with China went and that he was not satisfied,” wrote FX Pro analysts.
“He also said that there was a substantial chance that the summit with North Korea in June would not work out.
“This led to a fall in US indices ... and a rebound higher in the dollar.”
In late morning European trade, Frankfurt sank 1.5 percent and Paris shipped 1.2 percent, while London lost 0.8 percent on news also of slowing UK annual inflation.
And the euro briefly sank to $1.1699 — the lowest level since mid-November.
Adding to nerves, a key survey showed Wednesday that the pace of growth of eurozone business activity continued to slow in May, as companies became less optimistic about the state of the economy in Europe.
Data monitoring company IHS Markit also flagged strong slowdowns in France and Germany, though employment growth in the 19-country single currency bloc remained robust.
The purchasing managers’ index (PMI) by IHS Markit fell to 54.1 in May, which was lower than forecast by analysts. A figure over 50 indicates the economy is expanding.
“A whole raft of eurozone PMI surveys have continued to shed a worrying picture of economic progress within the region,” noted analyst Mahony.