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Gold Prices Dip as US Dollar Hits 9-Month High on Manufacturing Data

October 24, 2016 at 17:20 by Andrew Moran

Gold prices started off the trading week in the red as the US dollar strengthened and upbeat manufacturing data impacted the yellow metal. This means gold is continuing its historically weak October.

December gold futures declined $4.20, or 0.33%, to $1,263.50 per ounce at 16:50 GMT on Monday. Last week, gold prices advanced a tepid 1% as the European Central Bank (ECB) maintained an accommodative monetary policy. Gold has gone up roughly 20% so far this year because of volatility in the global financial markets, sluggish economic growth, and international monetary easing.

Silver has presented some modest gains to kick off the trading week. December silver futures rose $0.09, or 0.55%, to $17.59 an ounce. Silver, which has soared more than 40% this year, climbed just 0.3% last week.

The US dollar strengthened on positive manufacturing data. According to the IHS Markit flash index, American manufacturers jumped from 51.5 in September to 53.2 in October, which is its biggest increase in three months. A reading above 50 suggests gains in the US manufacturing sector.

A surging greenback is bad news for gold because it makes it more expensive for foreign investors.

Gold further slumped on growing expectations of a December interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve and diminishing odds of a Donald Trump US presidency. Later this week, US central bank policymakers will deliver their third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) figures, which will be closely watched in order to determine the likelihood of an end-of-year rate hike.

According to the CME Group FedWatch tool, there is a 60% chance of an increase to interest rates in December.

Precious metals are sensitive in a rising-rate environment because it raises the opportunity cost and sends investors to yield-bearing investments.

The only thing that prevented gold from weakening even further on Monday were signs of improving physical demand by Asian consumers.

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