Gold price dips on profit-taking, but holds above $1,500 on growth woes

August 15, 2019

London (Aug 15) - Gold prices edged lower on Thursday as investors locked in profits, after the bullion gained nearly 1% in the previous session on safe-haven buying amid concerns that an historic drop in long-term U.S. bond yields could portend a global recession.

Spot gold was down 0.2% at $1,512.45 per ounce, as of 0732 GMT. U.S. gold futures slipped 0.3% to $1,523.

“We are seeing flight to safety, market confidence is a bit shaky. We have been seeing that the economy is showing signs of weakness and it is starting to slow in the second half of this year, which is supportive for gold,” said Benjamin Lu, analyst, Phillip Futures.

“On the flip side, gold’s bull run is going on for sometime, we are afraid in the short-term there might be some pullback, corrections and people locking in profits, which might create volatility in coming days.”

The U.S. yield curve was inverted for a second straight trading session on Thursday. The yield curve inversion, which has historically signalled a looming recession, triggered an extensive flight to safety.

Fears of a global recession gripped financial markets around the world as stocks slumped to more than two-month lows on Thursday, tracking a Wall Street slide.

“We have continued safe-haven buying with stock markets looking pretty wobbly ahead of U.S. retail sales data,” OANDA analyst Jeffrey Halley said.

“The U.S. is the last man standing among Europe and China. We could see an outsized reaction overnight if data comes in ugly, which should help gold again.”

Economic data from China and Germany suggested a faltering global economy, hit by the worsening U.S.-China trade war, Brexit and geopolitical tensions.

Gold, which pays no interest of its own, is often used as a hedge against political and financial risks.

Markets are anticipating U.S. retail sales data due later in the day, which could serve as an indicator of the strength of the world’s largest economy.

On the trade front, senior U.S. officials said on Wednesday that China has made no trade concessions after the United States delayed tariffs on some Chinese imports, the latest sign that the trade saga is going nowhere.

Investors are focused on the Federal Reserve’s annual symposium next week. Traders see a 66.3% chance of a 25 basis-point rate cut by the Fed this September.

Lower U.S. interest rates put pressure on the dollar and bond yields, increasing the appeal of non-yielding bullion.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.9% to 844.29 tonnes on Wednesday.

Among other precious metals, silver dipped 0.4% to $17.15 per ounce.

Platinum gained 0.1% to $841.50 an ounce and palladium climbed 0.6% to $1,432.64.


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