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Gold Dips to 2-Month Low as US Dollar, Equities Surge

October 2, 2017 at 16:33 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are trading at their lowest levels since the beginning of August. The yellow metal is shedding its value as the US dollar and the equities market make gains to start the trading week.

December gold futures tumbled $6.80, or 0.53%, to $1,278.00 per ounce at 16:21 GMT on Monday. Gold prices are on track to settle at their lowest levels since August 8. This comes as the precious metal fell 1% last week and slipped 2.7% in September.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is trading flat to kick off the trading week. November silver futures rose $0.01, or 0.08%, to $16.68 an ounce. The white metal also recorded a near 1% weekly decline last week.

Year-to-date, gold has advanced roughly 10%, while silver has gone up just under 3%.

Gold was unable to post gains amid the Las Vegas mass shooting that left 50-plus dead and at least 300 injured. The yellow metal also could not benefit from the chaos unfolding in Spain over the Catalonia referendum.

Precious metals are taking a beating from a rising US dollar as the greenback jumped 0.50%. A stronger US dollar is bad for dollar-denominated commodities like gold and silver because it makes it more expensive for foreign investors to purchase.

With North Korean tensions remaining relatively quiet and domestic political turmoil at bay, traders were confident enough to dive back into equities. Positive economic data also contributed to the stock market gains on Monday as the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index climbed to 60.8 last month, the highest it has been since 2004.

All of these factors will likely provide the Federal Reserve with further ammunition to raise interest rates at December’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy meeting. The US central bank recently stated that it wants to pull the trigger on one more rate hike this year and will begin to unwind its $4 trillion balance sheet.

Gold is generally sensitive to a rising-rate environment because it lifts the opportunity cost and sends investors into yield-bearing assets.

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