Gold slips off 1-week peak as bond yields bounce back

Key Points
  • $1.9 trillion U.S. COVID-19 bill wins final approval.
  • ECB signals faster bond buys in coming quarter.
  • U.S. weekly jobless claims fall in the latest week.
A one-kilogram gold bar sits at Gold Investments Ltd. bullion dealers in this arranged photograph in London, U.K., on Wednesday, July 29, 2020.
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Gold eased off a one-week high on Thursday after U.S. Treasury yields rose after better-than-expected jobless claims data.

Spot gold fell 0.1% to $1,725.00 per ounce by 1:57 p.m EST (1856 GMT), after hitting its highest since March 3 at $1,739.63 earlier.

U.S. gold futures settled little changed at $1,722.60.

"10-year Treasury yields have now bounced again, which has stabilized the dollar and is taking some air out of gold," said Tai Wong, a trader at investment bank BMO in New York.

"We may have seen short-term lows at $1,680 per ounce, but a higher-yield environment is likely to prevent a significant rally; Perhaps a $1,700-$1,800 range in the near term as market tries to find equilibrium in yields."

Data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits dropped to a four-month low last week.

Better-than-expected economic numbers lifted 10-year Treasury yields above 1.5%, while the dollar index moved away from a one-week low.

"Bond yields have been rising in recent weeks on worries about problematic inflation surfacing as the major economies of the world have turned on their money spigots wide open over the past year," said Kitco Metals senior analyst Jim Wyckoff in a note.

While gold is considered a hedge against inflation from widespread stimulus, higher bond yields this year have threatened that status as they translate into a higher opportunity cost of holding bullion.

The European Central Bank said it would use its 1.85 trillion Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme more generously over coming months to stop any unwarranted rise in debt financing costs.

A $1.9 trillion U.S. COVID-19 relief bill was also approved on Wednesday.

Silver fell 0.2% to $26.12 per ounce. Palladium eased 0.2% to $1,200.11 per ounce, while platinum gained 1.6% to $2,343.95.