LONDON – Gold steadied yesterday near 4-month lows as the dollar’s uptrend paused, but prices of the precious metal are expected to remain under pressure from a significantly stronger U.S. currency and weak investment demand. Spot gold was up 0.4 percent at $1,309.34 an ounce at 1302 GMT. It touched $1,301.51 on Tuesday, its lowest since Dec.
29. U.S. gold futures rose 0.2 percent to $1,309.9 an ounce.
The U.S. currency hit a 3-1/2 month high on Tuesday. Its gains makes gold priced in dollars more expensive for holders of other currencies, which could potentially subdue demand; a relationship used by funds to generate buy and sell signals from numerical models.
“The dollar’s rebound has put pressure on gold and that is likely to persist,” said Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke.
“The other problem is a lack of investment demand, which is surprising given the headwinds to global trade from protectionism. You can see it in the physically backed gold products, a primary indicator of safe-haven demand.”
At around 28 million ounces, holdings of the largest gold-backed exchange-traded-fund (ETF), New York’s SPDR Gold Trust, are down more than 10 percent since the middle of 2016.
Protectionism is a reference to U.S. plans to levy taxes on aluminium and steel imports, which could mean retaliation from places such as China and the European Union.
“Rising inflation expectations, an overall bullish commodity trend (late-cycle preference for commodities), geopolitical and financial risks are being offset by a rising dollar and rising real-rates,” Saxo Bank analysts said in a note. — Reuters.