Futures & Commodities

Gold slides to 9-month low as rising bond yields, dollar dim appeal

An Argor-Heraeus SA branded two hundred and fifty gram gold bar, center, sits in this arranged photograph at Solar Capital Gold Zrt. in Budapest, Hungary.
Akos Stiller | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Gold slid more than 2% to its lowest in nearly nine months on Wednesday as elevated U.S. Treasury yields and a stronger dollar hammered the metal's appeal.

Spot gold was down 1.2% at $1,717.67 per ounce, after falling to its lowest since June 2020 at $1,701.40 earlier in the session.

U.S. gold futures settled 1% down at $1,715.80.

"As real rates continue to rise, that's challenging gold. The rates markets are also adding pressure on valuations for all asset classes, and as a result, gold is a casualty," said TD Securities commodity strategist Daniel Ghali.

Benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yields crept back towards a one-year peak reached last week, while the dollar rose.

Hopes of a quick economic rebound fuelled by a swift rollout of COVID-19 vaccines also prompted an outflow of safe-haven assets like gold from investors' portfolios.

Progress on the $1.9 trillion U.S. stimulus bill has offered little respite, as higher yields have threatened gold's appeal as an inflation hedge by increasing the opportunity cost of holding bullion.

"The outlook for gold is tied really to whether or not we've reached that pivot point at the U.S. Federal Reserve in terms of whether they would address the steepening of the yield curve. But we're still early in that process, so that has negative short-term implications on gold," Ghali said.

Fed officials have reiterated that U.S. interest rates will remain low but cited a recent rise in real rates as a sign of growing optimism about an economic recovery.

"We anticipate recent headwinds to intensify again into the second half of this year, particularly as greater U.S. stimulus raises the prospect of an earlier-than-planned Fed rate hike," UBS analysts wrote in a note.

Silver fell 1.8% to $26.28 an ounce and platinum slipped 2.1% to $1,178.79. Palladium rose 0.1% to $2,364.02.