Gold hits fresh 2018 low as rising yields lift dollar


Gold slid more than 1 percent on Tuesday, falling for a third day to hit its lowest this year as a rise in U.S. borrowing costs pushed up the dollar and overshadowed the impact of strife in Gaza.

Downward momentum in gold picked up after the metal broke below support at its 200-day moving average at $1,306 an ounce. That firmly underpinned prices earlier this month.

Spot gold was down 1.57 percent to $1,291.87 an ounce by 3:10 p.m. ET earlier hitting its lowest since late December at $1,289.40. U.S. gold futures for June delivery settled down $27.90 to $1,290.30.

Israeli troops shot dead dozens of Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border Monday when the high-profile opening of the U.S. embassy to Israel in Jerusalem by the Trump administration raised tension to a boiling point.

But gold investors were fixated on the dollar, which rose versus a currency basket as 10-year U.S. bond yields shot above 3 percent, sending borrowing costs higher in a number of other countries.

"It's a risk-off play across the board. The downward slide in pretty much all commodities and equities, you can refer that to a stronger dollar and higher yields," said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures. A Federal Reserve official backed the case for further U.S. interest rate hikes, saying inflation had not yet reached the U.S. central bank's 2 percent goal in a sustained way.

A Federal Reserve official this week backed the case for further interest rate hikes in the United States, saying inflation had not yet reached the U.S. central bank's 2 percent goal in a sustained way.

Higher U.S. interest rates tend to boost the dollar and bond yields, making greenback-denominated gold more expensive for holders of other currencies and denting the appeal of non-yielding assets such as bullion.

"The market's been waiting for the next rate hike by the Fed ... and I think gold prices are going to remain under pressure till we get through that hike," ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes said in a note.

However if yields were to ease, bullion could recover lost ground over the coming days, market analyst Fawad Razaqzada said. "Otherwise the only hope for dollar-denominated gold is a potential correction in the greenback now."

Support gradual interest rate rises: Fed's Mester

Silver was down 1.36 percent at $16.28, earlier hitting its lowest in nearly two weeks at $16.18. Platinum was down 0.82 percent at $897.60, falling to a 1-1/2-week low of $892.24, while palladium fell 1.56 percent to $979.97, earlier dipping to a one-week low of $964. It broke support at its 200-day moving average at $988.