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Gold Pauses Recovery Amid Stronger Dollar

February 4, 2019 at 17:28 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures tumbled to kick off the trading week, stemming from a strengthening US dollar. But the losses were capped on industry reports that central banks were busy purchasing gold on fears of global volatility. With a global economic downturn on the horizon and the Federal Reserve pausing its hawkish maneuvering, investors might be pouring into the yellow metal.

April gold futures slipped $3.10, or 0.29%, to $1,319.00 per ounce at 15:52 GMT on Monday. Last week, gold recorded a weekly gain of more than 1%, bringing its year-to-date advance to more than 2%.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is also shedding its value to commence the trading week. March silver futures slumped $0.025, or 0.15%, to $15.905 per ounce. The white metal posted a weekly gain of 1%, raising its YTD gains to 2.25%.

Precious metals were hit by a rising US dollar as the greenback surged 0.29% to 95.88. The dollar reported a modest weekly jump of 0.1%, though it is down by 0.3% this year. A stronger buck is bad for commodities priced in dollars because it makes it more expensive for foreign investors to purchase.

Gold had a strong January as it climbed 3% for its fourth consecutive monthly boost. The Federal Reserve confirmed that it will adopt a “patient” policy stance in the near-term – in other words, a wait-and-see approach. Despite a strong labor report on Friday – the US economy added more than 300,000 jobs last month – it may not be enough to encourage the Eccles Building to return to its aggressive position on interest rates.

The season may be contributing to gold’s recent ascent as Chinese Golden Week just started, an event that usually boosts physical demand. Meanwhile, the World Gold Council is reporting that central banks are on a gold buying spree, boosting their gold reserves by 651 metric tons last year, the biggest since 1972.

Once traders factor in the slowdown in China, the turmoil in the eurozone, the Fed’s policy maneuvering, and geopolitical tensions worldwide, the market is gold positive.

In other metal markets, March copper futures tacked on $0.02, or 0.67%, to $2.79 per pound. March platinum futures slid $3.60, or 0.44%, to $823.10 an ounce. March palladium futures soared $19.70, or 1.5%, to $1,333.30 per ounce.

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