Gold price extends decline as higher US rates take toll

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Gold extended its decline for the sixth session in a row on Monday, as a robust dollar and prospects of higher US interest rates continue to take the shine off the safe-haven metal.

Spot gold was down 1.0% by 12:35 p.m. EDT at $1,830.84 per ounce, after hitting its lowest since March 9. US gold futures slipped 1.0% to $1,847.20 an ounce in New York.

[Click here for an interactive chart of gold prices]

Meanwhile, the US dollar index rose 0.5%, making bullion less attractive to other currency holders.

“There is a reckoning that interest rates are going to be higher for much longer, which has been the bearish element in the precious market. Gold prices could go below $1,800 in the near-term,” said Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco Metals, in a Reuters note.

“Trends in the currency markets tend to be stronger and longer lasting. The appreciation of the US dollar may not end anytime soon, pressuring the gold market.”

Traders are pricing in a 55% chance that the Federal Reserve will leave interest rates at the current range of 5.25%-5.50% this year, according to CME’s FedWatch tool.

Federal Governor Michelle Bowman said she remains willing to support another increase in rates if incoming data shows progress on inflation is stalling or proceeding too slowly.

Since powering above the key $2,000-per-ounce level in early May, gold prices have fallen more than 11%, or $230, pressured by a sharp rise in benchmark US Treasury yields, which makes the non-yielding gold less attractive.

“The buying on dips (in gold) by central banks is now conspicuously absent,” said Tai Wong, a New York-based independent metals trader.

The market focus now shifts to Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech later in the day as well as on job openings data, private hiring numbers and US non-farm payrolls over the course of the week.

(With files from Reuters)