Gold prices head lower in Asia, but find risk support

November 17, 2015

Singapore (Nov 17)  Gold traded down into Asia on Tuesday, but well-supported as geopolitical risk linked to the deadly attacks in Paris kept demand for safe haven assets steady.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for December delivery fell 0.08% to $1,082.70 a troy ounce.

Silver for December delivery was rose 0.02% to $14.225 a troy ounce.

Copper for December delivery was also flat at $2.122 a pound.

Overnight, gold surged on Monday to approach $1,100 an ounce before falling back in U.S. afternoon trading, amid heavy trading in the safe haven asset following Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris.

After peaking above $1,180 in mid-October, gold futures have lost approximately 9% in value over the last month of trading. Over the next several weeks, gold could be further restrained by the prospect of an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve when the U.S. central bank meets next on Dec. 15-16.

While six members of the Federal Open Market Committee offered diverging comments about inflation and the state of the U.S. economy last Thursday, the members still provided little clarity on the likelihood of an interest rate hike next month. When Fed chair Janet Yellen testified in front of the House Financial Services Committee on Nov. 4, she said the December meeting will be considered "live" for a rate hike decision if the Fed sees continued improvement in the economy and labor market. Then, last Thursday, Fed vice chair Stanley Fischer reiterated that he believes long-term inflation will move back toward the Fed's long-term goal of 2%, as transitory effects from a strong dollar and low energy prices continue to recede.

Nearly a decade has passed since the FOMC last raised its benchmark Federal Funds Rate. Short-term interest rates have remained at their current near-zero range for nearly seven years since the height of the Financial Crisis.

An interest rate hike is viewed as bearish for gold which is not attached to interest rates and struggles to compete with high-yield bearing assets.


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