Gold Rout Takes Prices Near $1,200 as Investors Favor Dollar

(Bloomberg) -- Investors are turning their backs on gold.

The metal is near the lowest in more than a year, edging closer to a key $1,200-an-ounce level, and is heading for the longest run of weekly losses since October. Gold’s appeal has waned, even amid ongoing trade-war tensions, partly because of an upbeat outlook on the U.S. economy that’s strengthened the dollar.

Gold Rout Takes Prices Near $1,200 as Investors Favor Dollar

While gold is traditionally viewed as a haven in times of uncertainty, U.S. tax cuts and the Federal Reserve’s guidance for more interest-rate hikes has made the dollar an attractive alternative. There are other signs of investors getting out of gold -- holdings in exchange-traded funds are at a four-month low and money managers are holding their biggest bearish bet on record.

“Gold is being hammered by the same factors that are negatively impacting the broader commodity sector: surging U.S. dollar strength as financial markets have dictated that it’s the ‘go-to’ safe haven in the face of Trump’s trade war ructions,” Gavin Wendt, senior analyst at MineLife Pty., said by email. “U.S. dollar strength has a negative impact on commodity prices and gold is no exception.”

Gold for immediate delivery was little changed at $1,209.20 an ounce in London, after earlier touching the lowest since March 2017. Prices are down 1.2 percent this week, heading for a fourth straight weekly loss.

Stronger Dollar

In contrast, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index has climbed to a two-week high. U.S. economic data due Friday included monthly jobs data, which could give more clues on the path of rate hikes.

“A broadly stronger dollar has offered nothing but pain and misery to gold,” Lukman Otunuga, a research analyst at broker FXTM, said in a report. “Gold’s pain could be intensified today, depending on how markets react to the U.S. jobs report,” and a strong figure could push prices below $1,200, he said.

Still, some signals may point to gold’s decline slowing. The metal’s 14-day relative-strength index has fallen below 30, a level that can signal to some chart watchers that an asset is oversold. And in a weekly Bloomberg survey of analysts and traders, the majority said they were neutral on prices.

In other precious metals:

  • Silver was up 0.3 percent at $15.3565 an ounce, but headed for an eighth weekly loss, the longest run in two decades.
  • Platinum added 0.6 percent to $828.88 an ounce.
  • Palladium gained 0.2 percent to $918.01 an ounce.

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