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Gold Slumps Amid Broader Market Selloff

September 11, 2020 at 17:27 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are slumping to finish the holiday-shortened trading week as the precious metal joins the broader market decline. But the yellow metal’s drop was capped by a sliding US dollar. Overall, Wall Street is still bullish on gold because it is being supported by historically low government bond yields, rising COVID-19 cases, and a Federal Reserve embracing inflation.

December gold futures tumbled $13.30, or 0.68%, to $1,951.00 per ounce at 17:11 GMT on Friday on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold prices are poised for a weekly gain of 0.55%, bringing their year-to-date rally to just under 29%.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, finished the trading week lower. October silver futures fell $0.386, or 1.41%, to $26.905 per ounce. The white metal is on track for a weekly slide of 0.7%, but it is still up more than 50% so far this year.

Precious metals are engaging in a bit of a pullback as metal commodities attempt to understand the current path of global financial markets. For more than a week, the leading stock indexes have been participating in a massive selloff, with the Nasdaq Composite Index enduring a huge correction.

A strengthening greenback has also weighed on gold prices so far in September. The US Dollar Index, which measures the buck against a basket of currencies, was relatively flat on Friday. But the index is on track for a weekly gain of 0.65%, paring its year-to-date drop to below 3%. A stronger buck is bad for dollar-denominated commodities because it makes it more expensive for foreign investors to purchase.

That said, there are still many bullish factors for gold to return to the important psychological level of $2,000. Bonds are offering near-zero yields: the benchmark 10-year Treasury is down 1.5 basis point to 0.667%, the two-year note is flat at 0.133%, and the 30-year bond dipped 1.4 basis point to 1.419%.

The US has seen an improvement in the number of coronavirus cases, but new infections are still rising around 30,000 per day. The death toll is below 200,000. With the cold and flu season on the horizon, many fear that there could be a second wave that would result in lockdowns across the country.

Next week, the Federal Reserve will hold the September Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy meeting. The US central bank is expected to provide more details about its new approach to handling inflation, which will be allowed to climb above the 2% target rate. This strategy would also keep interest rates lower for longer.

In other metal markets, October copper futures tacked on $0.035, or 1.17%, to $3.0335 per pound. October platinum futures fell $5.40, or 0.57%, to $935.60 an ounce. October palladium futures shed $4.70, or 0.2%, to $2,326.20 per ounce.

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