×

Gold falls below $1,350 as dollar climbs; Dow, S&P at records

gold_bars_140.jpg
Stockbyte

Gold eased below $1,350 an ounce on Thursday as the dollar rose, and the Dow and S&P 500 touched record intraday highs, though uncertainty over the outlook for U.S. monetary policy prevented further losses for the metal.

Palladium, however, slid 5 percent to give back Wednesday's sharp gains. The metal fell below support at the $700 an ounce level.

Spot gold was down 0.6 percent at $1,338.10 an ounce. U.S. gold futures for December delivery settled down 0.1 percent at $1,350.

Prices have risen 27 percent so far this year, largely on expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will hold off on further interest rate hikes. Rising rates lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding gold.

A Reuters poll showed that the Fed is likely to raise rates in December after the presidential election. San Francisco Fed President John Williams said this week that the central bank should raise rates further this year.

Still, other countries are increasingly looking to increase stimulus. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand cut rates on Thursday.

"The most important factor for the gold market is what's going on in the United States with the economy, and what the Fed will do out of this data," LBBW analyst Thorsten Proettel said.

"Anything that is good for the economy in the United States will lead to higher interest rates at some time in the future, and that's bad for gold -- and the other way around."

Data on Thursday showed the U.S. labor market was firming.

The U.S. dollar rose against a currency basket, while major U.S. stock indexes climbed to all-time intraday records.

"Market attention has centered on the 573.6-ton increase in gold exchange traded product (ETP) holdings this year, representing a 39.2 percent increase year-to-date," said RBC Capital Markets in a note.

"While current levels are largely justified, we think any eventual unwind will be equally as impressive as the year-to-date uptick."

Palladium fell by as much as 5 percent to $686.50 an ounce after hitting a 14-month high on Wednesday at $746.10 an ounce. It had rallied sharply in thin Asian trading hours on Wednesday, apparently as investors holding short positions rushed to cover.

"A... pullback is in order after some over-exuberance," said ETF Securities' commodity strategist Martin Arnold.

Silver was down 0.37 percent at $19.99 an ounce, while platinum was 2.69 percent lower at $1,140.50 an ounce.