Futures & Commodities

Gold dips on firm dollar and rise in risk appetite

Gold will continue to shine amid a weak dollar, says author and gold pro Jim Rickards.
Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Gold slipped to its lowest in almost a month on Monday as a firm dollar and greater risk appetite outweighed support from an expected pause to increases in U.S. interest rates.

Spot gold was 0.1 percent down at $1,279.99 an ounce, having touched its lowest since Dec. 28 at $1,276.31. U.S. gold futures settled down $9.70 at $1,282.60 per ounce.

"Some calm has been restored in the equities market ... We are seeing a bit of withdrawal of interest from the gold market," said Macquarie commodity strategist Matthew Turner.

World markets showed some relief from Chinese economic data in line with expectations and offered some bright spots, though concerns about British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plans prompted some caution.

U.S. markets were closed on Monday for a public holiday.

"Gold could already find itself in increased demand today if the UK prime minister's 'Plan B' for Brexit turns out to contain nothing new and the chaos thus continues," Commerzbank analysts wrote.

The dollar rise within sight of a two-week high weighed on gold, which has climbed more than 10 percent since mid-August, largely because of equity market turmoil and a weak dollar.

ActivTrades chief analyst Carlo Alberto De Casa said a break through $1,277 could lead the gold price down to $1,260.

Analysts said gold was still finding some support from expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve had reached the end of its monetary tightening, a slowdown in global economic conditions and geopolitical uncertainties.

Fed officials have left little doubt that they want to stop raising interest rates, at least for a while, before their first meeting of the new year over Jan. 29-30.

Higher rates tend to reduce appetite for non-yielding gold.

Holdings of SPDR Gold, the largest gold-based exchange-traded fund, rose 1.5 percent on Friday to 809.76 tonnes.

Meanwhile, spot palladium, which hit a record high of $1,434.50 last week, driven by a sustained deficit, shed 1.1 percent to $1,361.50 an ounce.

"As a result of the strong rally over the last couple of months, the palladium market may see some consolidation before resuming its upward path," said Hans-Guenter Ritter, Global Head of Trading at Heraeus Metals, Germany.

Silver fell 0.7 percent to $15.22 an ounce while platinum lost 0.8 percent to $791.