Gold price firms but remains pinned below closely watched $1,200 mark

August 16, 2018

London (Aug 16)  Gold futures rose marginally Thursday in an attempt to climb from the roughly 1 1/2-year lows hit this week as the U.S. dollar rally paused after seeing the currency to a 14-month high.

December gold futures GCZ8, +0.27%  were up $1.50, or just 0.1%, at $1,186.50 an ounce. They closed Wednesday at $1,185, representing the lowest settlement for a most-active contract since early January of 2017, according to FactSet data. Futures, down 2.7% so far this week, are trying for only their second gain in the past six trading sessions.

A popular metals exchange-traded fund, the SPDR Gold Trust GLD, -1.66% dropped 0.4% premarket. An ETF that tracks gold miners, the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF GDX, +1.24% sank by 1%.

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After an 8.3% drop in just the past three months, gold futures have traded down nearly 10% for the year to date, failing to draw the support that might be expected amid geopolitical turmoil around trade war worries and Turkey’s financial crisis, as focus remains almost exclusively pinned on the stronger dollar. The precious metal has languished just below the psychologically-important $1,200 level after dropping below this line for the first time in more than a year on Monday.

“The bull run for the dollar index has eased off a little but we do not see any convincing move for the gold price, which tells us that traders are still very bearish views about the metal,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst with Think Markets. “It is likely that the gold price may continue to grind lower and the next important level to watch out for gold is at $1,150.”

As for gold-influencing currency play, the Turkish lira rose against the dollar on Thursday, setting the troubled currency up for its third straight advance as hopes grew that the currency crisis in the country was stabilizing. On Wednesday, it was reported that Qatar had pledged $15 billion in direct investments for Turkey, in what could be part of a lifeline for an economy struggling with high inflation and debt.

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Beyond the lira, the U.S. dollar index DXY, -0.12% which measures the buck against a half-dozen rivals, fell 0.2% to 96.49, although it continues to trade near its highest level since June 27, 2017. The index is up 4.7% in the year to date, according to FactSet.

Meanwhile, September silver SIU8, +1.22% attempted to take back a sliver of Wednesday’s steep drop. It was up 14 cents, or 0.9%, at $14.59 an ounce. Silver futures fell nearly 60 cents, or 4%, on Wednesday—the metal’s largest one-day slump since mid-June.

October platinum PLV8, +1.63% clawed up from its lowest point in roughly a decade, trading up $7.80, or 1%, at $780 an ounce. It fell 3.7% to close at $771.60 Wednesday, representing its steepest daily fall since early July. September palladium PAU8, +3.75%  rose $6.50, or 0.8%, to $843.70 an ounce. It shed $52.80, or 6%, to $837.20 an ounce Wednesday, registering its steepest one-day decline since March.

September copper futures HGU8, +1.70%  edged up about 5 cents, or 1.9%, at $2.6085 a pound. It shed 12.2 cents, or 4.5%, to $2.56 a pound Wednesday — the most severe daily decline since December.


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