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Gold Heads for Second Weekly Loss Amid Equity Markets Correction

February 9, 2018 at 15:47 by Andrew Moran

Gold prices have still been unable to take advantage of the significant drop in the equities market. Gold is in the red on the final trading session of the week, and the yellow metal is on track for its second consecutive weekly loss.

April gold futures tumbled $3.60, or 0.27%, to $1,315.40 per ounce at 14:29 GMT on Friday. Gold futures are on track for a 1.5% weekly decline, which would be the second straight weekly drop.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is also bleeding red ink. March silver futures shed $0.12, or 0.74%, to $16.22 an ounce. The white metal is poised for a weekly decrease of 2.5%.

Year-to-date, gold is up just 0.50%, while silver has lost 4.5% of its value.

Precious metals are taking a hit by a rising US dollar as the greenback jumped 0.10%. The US dollar has climbed above the important 90.0 mark, and the currency is set for a 1.4% weekly gain. This is generally bad for commodities like gold and silver because it makes it more expensive for foreign investors to purchase.

Investors did not turn to gold as a safe haven play after the US government averted a shutdown and President Donald Trump signed a two-year, $300 billion budget deal. This helped lift US Treasury yields: the benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield surged as high as 2.884%, a move that would place a cap on gold prices.

With the Federal Reserve and other central banks raising interest rates, traders are expecting a tidal wave of inflation, something that could limit the downside pressure on precious metals. Gold is usually sensitive to a rising-rate environment because it increases the opportunity cost and sends investors into yield-bearing assets. But with the threat of inflation imminent, gold could post solid gains.

Earlier this week, Institute of Supply Management (ISM) non-manufacturing index topped a 13-year high. On Friday, it was reported that wholesale inventories edged up 0.4% in December, compared to the market estimates of 0.2%.

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