Gold falls as Fed’s Kaplan says rate cuts should be restrained

Federal Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan. Image courtesy of George Mason University

Federal Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan introduced some caution to investor enthusiasm that has sent gold holdings in exchange-traded funds to their longest streak of gains in a decade.

Kaplan said that the reduction in borrowing costs by the Fed shouldn’t be a “full-fledged cutting cycle,” tamping down expectations of a prolonged monetary easing that helped drive non-interest bearing gold to a six-year high last month.

Before Thursday’s decline, investors boosted their holdings in bullion-backed exchange-traded funds tracked by Bloomberg for an 18th straight day, the longest run of inflows since 2009

“This cutting we’re doing should be limited, restrained and modest,” Kaplan said in a Bloomberg Television interview Thursday. “I think we’re in a fragile period in here, which is why I am glad the Fed has taken some action in July and September. But I think this could go either way.”

Gold futures for December delivery slipped 0.8% to settle at $1,500.90 an ounce at 1:31 p.m. on the Comex in New York, erasing a 0.6% gain earlier.

Before Thursday’s decline, investors boosted their holdings in bullion-backed exchange-traded funds tracked by Bloomberg for an 18th straight day, the longest run of inflows since 2009.

Kaplan’s comments “put markets in doubt that we’re not necessarily cutting,” Bart Melek, head of global commodities strategies at TD Securities in Toronto, said by phone. “It implied there’s not real need to get aggressive.”

The metal also fell as U.S. stocks rallied after President Donald Trump said he will meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Friday, fueling investor optimism about progress on a partial trade deal between Washington and Beijing.

“Gold prices have been hit hard after the breaking news that Trump is going to meet Chinese vice premier,” Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at ThinkMarkets, said in an email. “Basically, this has increased the odds of a better deal taking place and this is exactly what investors have hoped. Trump meeting the Chinese vice premier isn’t a small deal at all.”

(By Justina Vasquez)

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