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Gold Steadies at Four-Month Low Amid Weaker Dollar, Mixed Equities

April 22, 2019 at 18:43 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are posting mild gains to kick off the trading week. The yellow metal is hovering around a four-month low, but it is rising on mixed equities and a weaker US dollar. After suffering a loss during the holiday-shortened week, gold prices are trying to avoid a fifth consecutive weekly loss.

June gold futures tacked on $1.40, or 0.11%, to $1,277.40 per ounce at 17:36 GMT on Monday. Gold recorded a 1.5% loss last week, bringing its year-to-date decline to 1.6%.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is rising on the Easter Monday. May silver futures added $0.03, or 0.2%, to $14.985 an ounce. The white metal posted a 0.4% weekly gain, but it is still down more than 4% on the year.

Precious metals benefited from a falling US dollar as the currency tumbled 0.11% to 97.29. The greenback climbed 0.3% last week and it is up 1.1% so far this year. A weaker buck is good for commodities priced in dollars because it makes it cheaper for foreign investors to purchase.

The US equities market was mixed on Monday as investors were affected by slumping technology shares, Washington restricting Iranian crude oil exports, and further geopolitical risks. This did not offer some safe-haven demand, but not enough to break above the key 50- and 100-day moving averages.

Investors are starting to short bullion again. According to the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), hedge funds and money managers increased their net short positions in the week ending April 16.

On the data front, existing home sales in March fell 4.9%, following an 11.2% jump in February. This is higher than the median estimate of a 3.8% drop. Also, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index edged up to -0.15 last month from -0.31 in February, but it is far below the market forecast of +2.55.

In other metal markets, May copper futures dipped $0.015, or 0.5%, to $2.905 a pound. June platinum futures slipped $0.70, or 0.08%, to $903.00 per ounce. June palladium futures plunged $27.00, or 1.93%, to $1,371.50 an ounce.

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