Two Hundred and Fifty Gram Gold Bars (Photographer: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg)

Gold Rallies as Trump's `Toughest Time' in Office Batters Dollar

(Bloomberg) -- Gold’s getting a boost from the turmoil surrounding Donald Trump’s administration.

The metal climbed for a fifth day, the longest run in a month, on reports that the president asked FBI Director James Comey to drop an investigation into a former National Security Adviser. The dollar has dropped and European stocks fell amid the latest controversy, which prompted references to the 1970s Watergate scandal that helped to sink the then president, Richard Nixon.

Trump “perhaps is facing his toughest time in the office,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst in London at Think Markets U.K. Ltd. Investors are questioning whether there is “any possibility of impeachment becoming a reality, because certainly that would hit the confidence massively.”

Gold Rallies as Trump's `Toughest Time' in Office Batters Dollar

Bullion for immediate delivery climbed as much as 1.9 percent to a two-week high of $1,260.38 an ounce, and was at $1,259.20 by 1:56 p.m. in New York, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. That takes this year’s gain to about 8.7 percent.

In New York, gold futures for June delivery had a sixth straight gain on the Comex, the longest rally since August.

Gold has risen after Trump’s firing of the FBI director a week ago and following reports that Trump shared intelligence with Russia. The latest twist regarding Comey has raised questions that Trump may have obstructed justice. The problems are seen as drawing the administration’s focus away from policies to aid growth, and have spurred recollections of former President Nixon, who was ensnared in Watergate and resigned.

“It’s a political dogfight,” Ole Hansen, head of commodities strategy at Saxo Bank A/S in Copenhagen, said by phone. “That does mean that his ability to act as a president, and to do what he’s promised, is sharply reduced and in that lies the risk of dollar weakness.”

Still, Hansen said “it’s much too early to say,” whether the current situation is reminiscent of the Watergate era. “I don’t think the sum of that adds up to something that could potentially lead to the removal,” but it is hampering the White House’s ability to deliver on promises, he said.

Before last week, gold had been falling since mid-April amid a stronger dollar and expectations for more U.S. interest-rate increases. Higher borrowing costs tend to curb the appeal of non-interest-bearing assets like gold.

“The rise in gold is largely a dollar play, with the dollar weakening because of Trump,” said Barnabas Gan, an economist at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp., who also flagged overseas tensions. There’s still more risk of lower prices in the long run, and “if we divorce away all the uncertainty, the rate-hike story should at least bring gold prices to $1,100,” he said.

In other precious metals:

  • Silver for immediate delivery headed for a sixth straight gain, the longest run since March.
  • Spot palladium fell for a third day.
  • Spot platinum rose for a sixth day, the longest stretch since February.