Gold prices rise on weaker dollar ahead of US inflation data
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Gold prices rise on weaker dollar ahead of US inflation data

The uptick in gold prices is being seen as a case of short-covering behaviour by market watchers, as they look out for inflation data from the U.S.

business Updated: Feb 12, 2018 11:08 IST
Gold,US dollar index,gold prices
A pedestrian walks past a window displaying a representation of a gold bar at a bullion broker in Piccadilly, London.(Reuters)

Gold prices rose on Monday as the US dollar slipped after last week’s rally though investors are watching for inflation data from the United States later this week for signs of the intensity of expected US interest rate increases.

Spot gold rose 0.6% to $1,323.68 per ounce at 0435 GMT. Last week, the precious metal fell 1.2% for a second consecutive weekly decline.

US gold futures for April delivery rose 0.8% to $1,326.30 per ounce.

“Gold has picked up a little in the last 24 hours, as a hint of dollar weakness creeps back into markets,” said Jordan Eliseo, chief economist at gold trader ABC Bullion.

The dollar index, a measure of the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, fell 0.34% to 90.137. Last week the index rose 1.4% because of a flight to safer assets amid a rout in global equity markets.

A weaker greenback makes dollar-denominated gold less expensive for holders of other currencies.

US consumer price data will be released on Wednesday that should give clearer signs on the pace of inflation and with it the frequency of the anticipated interest rate rises. Concerns of rising inflation triggered the global equity drop last week.

“After last week’s sell off in risk assets, we expect gold to be well supported, especially if volatility in financial markets persists,” Eliseo said.

Last week, the benchmark S&P 500 fell 5.2%, its biggest decline since January 2016.

“The uptick in prices today is not so much safe-haven buying, but more so potential short covering behaviour by market watchers,” said OCBC analyst Barnabas Gan.

“It’s just common sense for some portfolio managers to exhibit some short-covering behaviour especially after the sell-off we saw last week.”

Gold prices slipped 2.5% in the prior two weeks before Monday.

Hedge funds and money managers slashed their net-long position in COMEX gold for the first time in eight weeks in the week to Feb. 6, and cut it in silver, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.

Spot gold is expected to end its current bounce in a resistance zone of $1,325 to $1,330 per ounce and then revisit its Feb. 8 low of $1,306.81, said Reuters technical analyst, Wang Tao.

In other precious metals, silver gained 0.6% to $16.45 per ounce.

Platinum rose 0.6% to $970.00 per ounce. On Friday, it fell to $953 an ounce, the lowest since Jan. 10.

Palladium was up 0.8% to $984.00 per ounce. On Friday, it fell to its lowest since Oct. 25.

First Published: Feb 12, 2018 11:08 IST