Futures & Commodities

Gold gains on rate-cut bets; platinum hits over 3-week high

A gloved hand stacks bars of gold into a pyramid.
Leonhard Foeger | Reuters

Gold scaled a near two-week peak on Thursday after weak economic data from the United States raised expectations for another interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve, while platinum jumped to its highest level in more than three weeks.

Spot gold was up 0.7% to $1,501.97 per ounce, after hitting its highest since Oct. 11 at $1,50.89 earlier in the session. U.S. gold futures settled 0.6% higher at $1,504.70 an ounce.

"The bump we got now is because of the miss on durable goods numbers in the U.S.," said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures said.

"We had a couple of misses in the last few weeks on these numbers, be it retail sales or durable goods, and some of the PMI numbers. Overall, it lends support to another rate cut from the Fed before year-end."

New orders for key U.S.-made capital goods fell more than expected in September and shipments also declined, the data showed.

Also adding to the concerns over the health of the global economy, euro zone business activity stagnated in October as demand withered, according to a survey published on Thursday.

Central banks globally are facing increasing pressure to dole out monetary support for flagging economies as the U.S.-China trade dispute continue to take toll on trade and business sentiment.

The Fed has cut interest rates twice this year and investors currently see another reduction in borrowing costs when policymakers meet next week.

Lower U.S. interest rates put pressure on the dollar and bond yields, increasing the appeal of non-yielding bullion.

"One thing that will help propel gold higher is yields. I reckon the downward trend for yields will resume because fundamentally, nothing has changed," said Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst with Forex.com.

"We are still seeing central banks conveying a dovish message across the board and that should keep yields under pressure long-term," he said.

Earlier in the day, the European Central Bank left key interest rates unchanged.

Among other precious metals, platinum gained 0.7% to $921.08 per ounce, after climbing to its highest since Sept. 30.

"Platinum is also expected to benefit from positive spillovers from gold. However, its sizeable and rising above-ground stocks will remain a key headwind over the rest of 2019 and in 2020," Metals Focus said in a weekly note.

Palladium, which hit a record high of $1,783.21 last week, climbed 1.7% to $1,771.42 an ounce. Silver jumped 1.4% to $17.79.