Gold soars as trade standoff lowers stock markets
Gold futures logged their highest finish in a week Thursday, buoyed by declines in global stock markets brought on by expectations for a prolonged U.S.-China trade standoff.
The metal also found support following Federal Reserve meeting minutes out a day earlier that revealed a panel seemingly comfortable with its patient stance on interest rates.
June gold GCM19, -0.13% on Comex added $11.20, or 0.9%, to settle at $1,285.40 an ounce, on for the highest most-active contract settlement since May 16, according to FactSet data. Prices ended higher Wednesday and boosted that gain in the after-hours, when the Fed minutes were released. The moves follow Tuesday’s finish at the lowest most-active contract settlement since May 2.
“I think gold is set up nicely right now for a real, no kidding rebound towards $1,300,” Jeff Wright, executive vice president of GoldMining Inc., told MarketWatch.
Gold’s gain Thursday came as benchmark U.S. stock indexes moved sharply lower. European and Asian stocks also dropped. The dollar index DXY, -0.19% was down 0.2% at 97.889, contributing to a lift in prices for dollar-denominated gold.
“Equity risk on momentum has retreated to full on risk off; could be ready for the sell in May and go away equity market through end of the month,” said Wright, which is a positive for gold.
Meanwhile, the minutes from Federal Open Market Committee’s April 30-May 1 meeting released on Wednesday revealed that the FOMC members agreed that their inaction could last for “some time.”
“Interest rates are steady, if not possibly going lower by year-end,” said Wright.
The FOMC may also “be forced to add to [the] balance sheet as [the] U.S./China Tariff dispute has entered into standoff phase and China’s appetite for U.S. Treasury issuance has begun to wain,” he said. “This is a net positive for a gold rebound.”
Among U.S. economic data Thursday, weekly jobless claims fell to 211,000, but American businesses grew in May at the slowest pace since before President Donald Trump was elected, with an IHS Markit “flash” survey of manufacturersat 50.6 this month, down from 52.6 in April. New-home sales in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 673,000 in April, down 6.9% from March’s tally, which was revised sharply higher.
As for other Comex metals, silver saw its July contract SIN19, -0.19% add 1.1% to $14.613 an ounce and July copper HGN19, +0.13% tacked on just under 0.1% to $2.681 a pound. July platinum PLN19, -0.04% shed 0.7% to $799.50 an ounce, with prices ending below $800, the lowest for a most-active contract since February. June palladium PAM19, -0.21% finished at $1,307.80 an ounce, down 0.4%.
The SPDR Gold Shares exchange-traded fund was up 0.9%.