Gold Prices Lower as Stronger Dollar Weighs

By / January 09, 2018 / / Article Link - Gold prices fell on Monday as the stronger dollar weighed after Friday’s weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs report did little to alter expectations for further Federal Reserve rate hikes this year.

Comex gold futures were trading at $1,317.00 a troy ounce by 03:54 AM ET (08:54 AM GMT).

Prices of the precious metal were pressured lower as the dollar moved higher against a basket of the other major currencies.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.25% to 91.98, up from its January 2 trough of 91.47, which was the lowest level since September 20.

The U.S. economy added 148,000 jobs in December, the Labor Department reported Friday, well below the 190,000 forecast by economists.

The dollar briefly slid to the day’s lows following the report before regaining ground.

The jobs data was seen as unlikely to alter investor expectations for a rate hike by the U.S. central bank at its March meeting. Fed officials have penciled in three rate increases this year and two in 2019.

Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, as they increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.

Recent weakness in the dollar had supported gold prices by making the dollar-denominated metal cheaper for holders of other currencies.

Elsewhere in metals trading, silver was down 0.69% at $17.16 a troy ounce, while platinum fell 0.41% to trade at $971.20 a troy ounce.

Palladium was up 0.88% to $1,091.70 a troy ounce, not far from Thursday’s record high of $1,101.30.

Palladium posted the strongest increase among precious metals in 2017, advancing 57% amid concerns over the supply outlook.

Copper was little changed for the day at $3.230 a pound.

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