Futures & Commodities

Gold gains lustre as Fed rate cut bets, trade tensions boost demand

Mariya Gordeyeva | Reuters

Gold prices rose on Thursday, continuing last week's strong run as persistent fears about the impact of trade wars on the economy and rising expectations for a U.S. interest rate cut embellished the metal's appeal.

Spot gold rose 0.5% to $1,336.64 per ounce. U.S. gold futures settled $9.10 higher at $1,342.70.

"Ongoing concerns regarding global economic growth is supporting gold at the moment," said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures, adding that the United States' trade tussles with Mexico and China are taking a toll.

"Recent commentary by U.S. Federal Reserve officials that they are at least willing to look at rate cuts if the data warrants it has also helped commodities across the board."

Having suspended a three-year monetary tightening campaign earlier this year, the Fed is now widely expected to cut rates.

Chairman Jerome Powell said earlier this week the central bank will closely monitor the economic impact of trade conflicts, a deviation from his former "patient" stance.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who has persistently advocated rate cuts, on Thursday issued fresh threats to hit China with tariffs on "at least" another $300 billion of Chinese goods. He also said he thought both China and Mexico wanted to make deals, however.

Since Trump's tariff-threats on Mexico last week, gold has risen more than $63, and is only $11 away from its 2019 high set in February.

"Gold has run a long way in its rally in a short span of time, so I would not be surprised to see it consolidate," Saxo Bank commodity strategist Ole Hansen said.

The market is now waiting for data on U.S. non-farm payrolls and unemployment due at 1230 GMT on Friday to find clues on the trajectory of interest rates.

"Wednesday's ADP national employment report for May showed only 27,000 jobs added in the month. That anaemic number has many looking for a weaker number in Friday's jobs report," Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco, said in a note.

In other precious metals, silver rose 0.9% to $14.93 per ounce, close to a more than one-month high of $15.04 set in the previous session.

Palladium rose 1.4% to $1,347.65 an ounce, while platinum was steady at $799.72, away from a near three-week high of $832.63 on Wednesday.