Futures & Commodities

Gold, palladium retreat on signs of easing tensions over Ukraine

Key Points
  • Spot gold was down 1.2% at $1,848.30 per ounce, after hitting its highest since June 11 at $1,879.48.
  • U.S. gold futures fell 0.9% to $1,853.20.

In this article

A five hundred gram gold bar, left, and a a one kilogram gold bar, produced by Swiss manufacturer Argor Hebaeus SA, in Budapest, Hungary, on Wednesday, July 20, 2016.
Akos Stiller | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Precious metals fell on Tuesday with gold slipping from a multi-month high and palladium shedding more than 5% as news that some Russian troops near Ukraine were returning to their bases dented demand for safe-haven assets.

Spot gold was down 0.8% at $1,855.06 per ounce by 01:57 p.m. ET (1857 GMT), after hitting its highest since June 11 at $1,879.48.

U.S. gold futures settled down 0.7% at $1,856.20.

"As a result of a light de-escalation in the Russian-Ukraine situation, we have seen a little pullback in safe-haven products such as gold," said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures.

Stocks and other risky assets made a modest recovery, halting a market selloff over several days.

Meanwhile, data showed U.S. producer prices increased more than expected in January.

Hotter-than-expected inflationary data has been weighing on the gold market, as it could lead to a more hawkish Federal Reserve, Meger said.

While bullion is considered a hedge against inflation and geopolitical risks, interest rate hikes would raise the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

Investors now await minutes from the Fed's January policy meeting on Wednesday. Fed fund futures are pricing a 50 basis point rate hike in the central bank's March policy meeting.

Palladium slipped 4.6% to $2,252.68 per ounce, after fears of supply disruption due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict drove it to a two-week high on Monday.

"Russia accounts for 9% of primary platinum supply, 35% of primary palladium output and 7% of rhodium production. Of these, palladium could be the most affected given its supply concentration and our expectation of an undersupplied market this year," Standard Chartered said in a note.

Spot silver dropped 2% to $23.36 per ounce, platinum was down 0.4% at $1,024.13.