Gold price keeps falling as dollar stays strong

New York (June 27)  Gold prices slipped to a new six-month low on Wednesday as the dollar strengthened, making bullion more expensive for buyers using other currencies.

The move takes gold's losses this month to more than 3 percent - the biggest monthly loss since September - driven by a dollar rally, a large decline in gold held by exchange traded funds and a sharp fall in speculative bets on higher prices. Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,254.91 an ounce at 1339 GMT after hitting its lowest since mid-December at $1,253.

U.S. gold futures for August delivery were 0.2 percent lower at $1,257 an ounce. 

"The dollar is higher. That's the most important reason (for gold falling)," said ABN AMRO analyst Georgette Boele.

Technical indicators suggest gold will continue to fall, said analysts at ScotiaMocatta, with support at the psychologically important level of $1,250 and at $1,236.60, gold's December low.

    An escalating trade dispute between the United States and

China has hit global stock markets but so far not triggered

demand for gold, usually seen as a safe place to invest during

times of uncertainty.                                     

    The dollar meanwhile is near 2018 highs, in part due to

expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will increase

interest rates again after raising them in June for the second

time this year.             

    Higher rates tend to lift the dollar and U.S. bond yields

and push down gold, which is priced in dollars and does not

offer a yield.

    The head of the Dallas Federal Reserve said on Tuesday the

Fed could raise rates at least two more times before its policy

stopped being accommodative, while the chief of the Atlanta Fed

said he could rule out a fourth rate increase for the year if

the U.S.-China trade dispute worsens.                         

    Also undercutting gold prices is a fall in holdings by

gold-backed exchange traded funds tracked by Reuters of 1.9

million ounces, or 3.2 percent, since late May.               

           

    This was driven by U.S. sellers who are likely betting on a

stronger dollar, said Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke.

    But gold could rebound sharply if investment funds that have

trimmed their net long position in Comex gold to the lowest in

2-1/2 years decide prices have bottomed out, Menke said.

           

    "Usually this kind of pretty bearish position reverses

rather quickly," he said, adding that gold had likely already

fallen too far.   

    In other precious metals, spot silver was down 0.5

percent at $16.17 an ounce after touching its lowest since May 1

at $16.10 on Tuesday.

    Platinum was 1.2 percent lower at $855.60 after

reaching its lowest since February 2016 at $848.50.

    Palladium  was also down 1.2 percent at $945.80.

Reuters

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