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Picture: 123RF/STRELOK
Picture: 123RF/STRELOK

Bengaluru — Gold prices weakened on Thursday to a two-month low as an elevated dollar hurt demand for greenback-priced bullion, while an impending US interest rate hike also dampened the metal’s appeal as an inflation hedge. 

Spot gold was down 0.2% at $1,882.49/oz, as of 2.25am GMT, after hitting its lowest since February 24 earlier in the session. US gold futures slipped 0.4% at $1,881.40.

Gold has been holding very well above $1,900, but has seen pressure from the dollar, and the underlying factor of the Fed being expected to raise interest rates by 50 basis points next week, said Brian Lan, MD at dealer GoldSilver Central.

The dollar index had reached a five-year top of 103.28, and a further push above 103.82 would see it at levels not visited since late-2002. A stronger dollar makes greenback-priced gold less attractive for other currency holders.

Benchmark 10-year US treasury yields also firmed, as investors awaited greater clarity on the “restrictive” policy the Fed plans to pursue next week to combat inflation by curbing economic growth. Gold is highly sensitive to rising US short-term interest rates and higher yields, which increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion. However, gold is also seen as a safe store of value during economic and political crises.

With gold prices failing to push higher despite a backdrop of the Ukraine war and rapid inflation, investors have probably decided to look elsewhere, Lan said, adding that lockdowns in China to combat the spread of Covid-19 have affected demand from the top consumer.

Global demand for gold surged in the first quarter to the highest in over three years, driven by investors worried about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and inflationary pressures, the World Gold Council said.

Spot silver dipped 0.1% to $23.26/oz, platinum eased 0.4% to $914.17, while palladium gained 1.2% to $2,228.75. 

Reuters

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