Gold back below $1,500/oz, but likely to push higher again

August 9, 2019

Bengaluru (Aug 9)  Gold eased slightly on Thursday, after a surge above $1,500 for the first time since April 2013 in the previous session in response to US-China trade uncertainties and growing signs of an economic slowdown.

Spot gold was down 0.3% at $1,496.52/oz at 10.15am GMT.

US gold futures fell 0.7% to $1,508.30/oz.

“Given how aggressively gold has gained quite in the past few days, it's only natural for prices to retrace before pushing back higher,” FXTM analyst Lukman Otunuga said.

The metal has risen more than 17% so far in 2019, and about $100 over the past week, in a stellar run propelled by trade tension and an increasingly dovish shift in policy by central banks amid fears of slowing growth.

“The situation has not changed. Political tensions continue to exist, the trade war is still going on, so I would not be surprised to see higher prices,” said Afshin Nabavi, senior vice-president at precious-metals trader MKS SA, adding that prices could move in a $1,475- $1,530 range in the absence of any further catalysts.

Global stock markets enjoyed a tentative recovery following sharp falls in response to an escalation in the trade war, when China allowed the yuan to weaken beyond the key 7/$ mark, viewed as a retaliation to a US threat of additional tariffs.

“Any reconciliation signal between Trump and China could send investors back to riskier assets,” ActivTrades analyst Carlo Alberto De Casa said in a note.

But other factors, including a lower interest-rate environment, were likely to keep safe-haven bullion supported, analysts said.

On Thursday, the Philippines' central bank cut its benchmark lending rates, following similar moves by New Zealand, India and Thailand, among others.

Following the US Federal Reserve's rate cut last week, interest-rates futures suggest traders are betting the Fed will cut rates three more times by the year-end to avert a recession.

In another tailwind for gold, US 10-year treasury yields dropped further below three-month rates, an inversion that has reliably predicted recessions in the past.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 1.02% to 845.42 tonnes on Wednesday.

Gold may gain further to $1,524, as it has cleared resistance at $1,497, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Elsewhere, silver eased 0.3% to $17.06 per ounce, after hitting a more than one-year high in the previous session. Platinum fell 0.2% to $860.59/oz, and palladium rose 0.2% to $1,418.31/oz.


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