Gold price rally gains momentum
Gold’s comeback in 2017 gathered pace on Thursday with the precious metal jumping to a one-month high, as the US dollar tumbles and uncertainty about what a Trump administration would mean for the US economy mounts.
Gold for delivery in February, the most active contract on the Comex market in New York, hit a high of $1,185.90 an ounce in lunchtime trade, the best level since December 5 in another day of heavy trading. If futures close around these levels it would constitute the metal’s best session since September 10.
Gold is up $60 an ounce since hitting post-election lows of $1,124 mid-December, but remains down just over $150 from an initial but brief surge on election night as results showed a likely victory for Trump in the US presidential race.
Gold’s latest leg up was spurred by minutes from the US Federal Reserve released yesterday that talked about “considerable uncertainty” about the effect of Trump’s fiscal stimulus plans on the world’s largest economy and interest rates.
Low interest rates minimizes the opportunity costs of holding gold because the metal provides no yield and therefore the price should appreciated. A low interest rate environment also hurts the value of the dollar which usually move in the opposite direction of the gold price.
The US dollar fell sharply against a basket of the currencies of its major trading partners on Thursday as the market digested the Fed pronouncements which were much more dovish than at the December meeting where as many as three interest rate hikes were seen in 2017.
Gold’s gains also came despite initial weekly US jobless claims coming in way below expectations at 235,000. The number of Americans seeking unemployment assistance have been under 300,000 for 96 straight weeks, the longest stretch since 1970.