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Gold Crashes Below $1,500 As Equities Rally on Firm Dollar, US-China Trade

September 30, 2019 at 18:18 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are crashing below the key $1,500 level to kick off the trading week, driven by a rally in US equities, which was buoyed by a firming dollar and positive US-China trade developments. The yellow metal, sliding under its 50-day moving average, is also falling on the latest bout of easing employed by the central banks.

December gold futures plunged $32.10, or 2.13%, to $1,474.30 per ounce at 17:57 GMT on Monday on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold prices are looking to extend their losses after posting a 1.5% decline last week, paring their year-to-date gains to 14.7%. Gold has now slipped under its 50-day moving average.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is plummeting to start the new trading week. November silver futures cratered $0.58, or 3.3%, to $17.07 an ounce. The white metal also recorded a steep 3% loss last week, shedding its YTD gains to under 10%.

US financial markets posted a triple-digit rally on Monday as investors were not persuaded to hit the sell button on the political upheaval occurring in Washington. Instead, traders were relieved when the Treasury confirmed that it would not be restricting US investment China. On Friday, it was reported that the White House considered delisting Chinese firms on US stock exchanges, which was denied by the administration.

American and Chinese trade delegations are scheduled to meet on October 10 in Washington as the world’s two largest economies attempt to inch toward a new trade agreement. For the last 18 months, the two nations have imposed retaliatory tariffs and trade restrictions, cooling down the global economy and dampening estimates of economic and corporate profit growth.

Wang Yi, China’s state councillor and foreign minister, assured reporters that Beijing would show signs of good faith, which he said that both sides need to do. He believes that if there were less “pessimistic language” than Washington and Beijing would a reach trade deal much faster.

The US dollar was one of the main contributors to the bloodbath in the metals market on Monday. The greenback soared 0.33% to 99.44, from an opening of 99.12. A stronger buck is bad for dollar-denominated commodities because it makes it more expensive for foreign investors to purchase. The currency is up 3.5% on the year.

Gold was further undercut by global central banks easing monetary policy by slashing interest rates and going as far as buying government bonds, effectively monetizing the national debt. The Federal Reserve has already cut rates twice this year and the dot-plot suggests one more quarter-point rate reduction this year – there are two more Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings in 2019.

On the data front, the Dallas Fed Bank’s manufacturing index for September clocked in at 1.5, down from 2.7 in August. The consensus was -4. Also, the Chicago purchasing managers’ index (PMI) read 47.1 in September, down from 50.4% last month – anything below 50 indicates a contraction.

In other metal markets, November copper futures tumbled $0.02, or 0.89%, to $2.575 a pound. December platinum futures crashed $55.40, or 5.92%, to $880.70 an ounce. December palladium futures fell $11.60, or 0.7%, to $1,641.30 per ounce.

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