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Metals Struggle to Find Direction Amid Global Equities Rally

November 26, 2018 at 17:22 by Andrew Moran

The precious metals are struggling to find a direction to kick off the trading week. Aside from palladium, metal commodities are seesawing as the global financial markets are roaring on Monday. The dollar-pegged metals have also been stagnating on a higher greenback.

December gold futures rose $0.10, or 0.01%, to $1,223.30 per ounce at 15:39 GMT on Monday. The yellow metal posted a 0.1% weekly loss during the holiday-shortened trading week. Gold prices remain down 8% year-to-date, and they are expected to trade sideways until a catalyst sends traders in a direction.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is trying to muster up a rally. March silver futures tacked on $0.01, or 0.05%, to $14.26 an ounce. The white metal also fell last week, shedding 0.9% and bringing its 2018 losses to 14.5%.

International equities markets are rebounding to start the trading week. US main stock indexes advanced more than 1% after recording the worst Thanksgiving-week performance since 2011. European shares surged on reports that the Italian government may come to a compromise with the European Union (EU) over the federal budget. Asian stocks were mixed ahead of President Donald Trump’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, which is expected to dominate the G20 summit in Argentina later this week.

When equities surge, there is typically weaker demand for safe-haven precious metals.

The US dollar edged 0.05% higher to 96.99 after posting a weekly gain of 0.7%. A stronger buck is bad for commodities priced in dollars because it makes it more expensive for foreign investors to purchase.

Despite dovish language recently emanating from the US central bank, the market is still certain that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in December and next year – Fed Chair Jerome Powell has forecast three rate hikes in 2019. According to the CME Group FedWatch tool, there is a 76% chance of a rate hike at next month’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.

rising-rate environment is typically bearish for gold because it lifts the opportunity cost and sends investors into yield-bearing assets.

December copper futures were flat at $2.759 per pound and December platinum futures jumped $2.60, or 0.3%, to $847.60 an ounce. Palladium is the only metal to have a clear direction on Monday as January futures soared $13.60, or 1.18%, to $1,127.70 per ounce.

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