Gold claws up from two-week lows as dollar, stocks point lower

London (May 20)  Hedge funds have, like most others, been struggling to work out the direction for gold, says analyst.

Gold futures prices inched up from the two-week lows hit to wrap up last week, with both the dollar and stocks pointing lower Monday.

A narrow trading band continues to hamper significant moves for the haven metal, which typically might draw strong demand based on concern for a prolonged trade war that keeps risk markets, including stocks, in flux. Instead, gold futures prices logged a weekly loss of 0.9% last week on the back of a jump in U.S. consumer sentiment and a slightly firmer dollar.

Early Monday, June gold GCM19, +0.13%  on Comex was up $1.70, or 0.1%, at $1,276.30 an ounce. It finished Friday at $1,275.70, the lowest most-active contract finish since May 2, according to FactSet data.

Relative dollar strength continues to hold back gold. The leading dollar index DXY, -0.05% was down less than 0.1% Monday, after notching a weekly rise of 0.6% through Friday. Stock futures were broadly lower.

“Gold has once again been left exposed to long liquidation following the failed attempt to break above $1,300/oz last week,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy with Saxo, citing Commitments of Traders data. “Hedge funds have, like most others, been struggling to work out the direction for gold with geopolitical tensions and a worsening trade war between China and the U.S. having so far failed to generate enough safe-haven demand to trigger a renewed push to the upside.”

Sino-American trade tensions continued to face apparent escalation, as U.S. technology companies have begun to comply with the White House’s ban on China’s Huawei Technologies Inc.

The gold-backed SPDR Gold Shares exchange-traded fund GLD, -0.71%  was tipping lower in early action, extending Friday’s loss after trading 0.8% lower for last week.

Among other metals, July silver SIN19, +0.01%  was up less than a penny, or about 0.1%, at $14.39 an ounce. It logged a weekly loss of 2.7%. July copper HGN19, -0.15%  fell less than a penny, or 0.1%, to $2.715 a pound. It fell 1.3% for last week.

Read: Dr. Copper’s advice about the stock market is a waste of your pennies

July platinum PLN19, -0.11% eased 90 cents, or 0.1%, to $818.20 an ounce, after suffering a weekly loss at over 5%. June palladium PAM19, +0.08%  rose $1.10, or 0.1%, at $1,313 an ounce, after a weekly loss of 3.3%.

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