Picture: AFP PHOTO/OZAN KOSE
Picture: AFP PHOTO/OZAN KOSE

London — Gold prices scaled a two-week peak on Monday as the dollar slid to a six-week low after a G20 weekend summit dominated by the US administration’s protectionist stance on global trade.

The precious metal has been rising since Wednesday, when the dollar dropped after the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates but stopped short of predicting a sharper acceleration in monetary tightening over the next two years.

Gold is sensitive to falling interest rates, which reduces the opportunity cost of holding nonyielding bullion.

"Overall the geopolitical outlook still points to several hotspots ... and we’re not going to see a focus on rate rises for the foreseeable future now, because that’s out the way. Over the next few weeks one has to favour the upside," said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.

Spot gold rose 0.3% to $1,231.45 an ounce by 2.50pm GMT, after touching $1,235.50, its highest since March 6. US gold futures gained 0.1% to $1,231.80.

Breaking a decade-long tradition of endorsing open trade, G20 finance ministers and central bankers made only a token reference to trade at the weekend, acquiescing to an increasingly protectionist US. Global equities baulked at the move, and the souring risk appetite drove investors into safe haven gold. The precious metal has rebounded more than $35 from the low hit before the Fed policy announcement last Wednesday, while the dollar has fallen 1.7%.

"The dovish outlook ... following last Wednesday’s Fed meeting is clearly still having an impact. This is likely to lure a number of speculative financial investors back into gold after this group massively reduced their net long positions in the run-up to the meeting," Commerzbank said.

Money managers reduced their net long, or buy, positions in gold by 44,058 lots to 49,835 lots during the week to March 14, the lowest since early January. Spot gold is expected to test resistance at $1,237, a break above which could lead to gains to $1,243, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said.

Denting the bullish gold narrative, holdings of SPDR Gold, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.35% to 834.10 tonnes on Friday.

Spot silver rose 0.4% to $17.41 an ounce, while platinum was up 0.8% at $965.50 and palladium firmed by 0.5% to $776.50.

Reuters

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