Gold falls 1% by midday on Monday as dollar ticks higher

New York (May 9)  Gold fell 1% on Monday as a firmer dollar prompted some investors to cash in gains after the metal’s rally back towards $1,300 an ounce in the previous session, resulting from a weaker than expected US jobs report.

Gold snapped four days of losses on Friday after the data, which showed the US economy added the fewest jobs in seven months in April, leaving some economists anticipating only one interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve this year.

Rising rates tend to weigh on gold, as they lift the opportunity cost of holding nonyielding bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced. Gold has rallied 20% this year as expectations for a near-term Fed hike faded. Spot gold was down 1% at $1,275.81 an ounce at 9.44am GMT, while US gold futures for June delivery were down $16.00 an ounce at $1,278.00.

The metal was still within $30 of April’s 15-month high, in spite of Monday’s correction.

"The dollar has started to recover somewhat," ABN Amro analyst Georgette Boele said. "The reason why the dollar was not aggressively sold off after the data is also making investors somewhat nervous about the gold positioning.

"It’s normal around these levels — we had a big run, so in the short term it could be a bit hesitant, somewhat lower. That doesn’t mean it will not go higher after all."

The dollar index, which hit a 16-month low last week, edged up 0.1% on Monday, having shown a fairly muted reaction to Friday’s mixed US jobs report. Helping the dollar rebound, New York Federal Reserve president William Dudley said two US rate hikes this year were still a "reasonable expectation." Hedge funds and money managers raised their net long positions in COMEX gold contracts in the week to May 3, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.

"The rise in the gold price to above the $1,300 mark was driven to a large extent by speculation," Commerzbank said in a note. "Net long positions are now only marginally below the record high they achieved at that time."

China’s gold reserves stood at 58.14-million fine troy ounces at the end of April, up from 57.79-million fine troy ounces at the end of March, the central bank said. Silver was down 0.6% at $17.34 an ounce, while platinum was down 1.1% at $1,062.99 and palladium was 0.7% lower at $599.20 an ounce.

Source: BDlive