Gold driven to higher ground as investors weigh trade war, Fed
Gold is back in vogue as trade-war risks fester and financial markets look ahead to next week’s Federal Reserve meeting, when policy makers may do more to pave the way for a U.S. interest rate cut.
Bullion posted the 10th gain in 11 sessions. August futures reached the highest for a most-active contract in more than a year on Friday after a feeble U.S. jobs report fueled haven demand. Exchange-traded-fund holdings have also been rising, posting the biggest weekly increase in two years last week, and central banks including China’s are bulking up reserves.
Gold is pushing higher as the U.S.-China tensions drag on, with Donald Trump saying he’s personally holding up a deal and insisting Beijing returns to terms negotiated earlier. Trump also renewed his attack on the U.S. central bank, complaining it doesn’t “listen” to him. After four hikes in 2018, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has now opened the door to a cut if trade frictions cause businesses to scale back investment and hiring.
“Renewed worries over the U.S.-China trade war and its impact on the global economy are pushing gold higher,” said Mark O’Byrne, research director at Goldcore Ltd. “Stocks globally have fallen as risk aversion creeps back in as the trade war escalates, increasing the appeal of gold bullion as a hedge and safe haven.”
Gold futures for August delivery rose 0.4% to settle at $1,336.80 an ounce at 1:30 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal has climbed about 4.3% this year.
Core U.S. inflation figures released Wednesday helped push the metal higher and reinforced the case for the Fed to cut U.S. interest rates. An expected rate cut means investors should go long on rates and gold and short the dollar, billionaire macro trader Paul Tudor Jones said. Gold is his favorite pick in the next 12 to 24 months. If it hits $1,400, it will quickly move to $1,700, he said.
Next week, Fed officials will probably discuss the prospects for rate cuts, but not announce one, Tiffany Wilding, an economist at Pacific Investment Management Co., said in a blog.
“In the meanwhile, I think the dovishness is fairly priced in here,” Ryan McKay, a strategist at TD Securities in Toronto, said by phone. While gold’s price should stay strong, he expects its rally won’t continue much longer and may “consolidate” without breaking above $1,340 or $1,350.
In other precious metals, silver increased on the Comex, while platinum closed lower and palladium gained on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
(By Ranjeetha Pakiam and Rupert Rowling)