Gold stabilises as dollar firms on rate hike pause prospects

Gold stabilises as dollar firms on rate hike pause prospects

Mubasher: Gold prices steadied on Thursday as a firmer US dollar wiped out the impact of expectations of a pause in interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

By 9:07 am GMT, US gold futures ticked down 0.03% to 1,293.40 per ounce, while spot gold went up 0.03% per ounce to $1,294.09 per ounce.

“The dollar is quite strong and acting as a resistance for a breakout in gold,” Argonaut Securities analyst Helen Lau told Thomson Reuters.

The US dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, edged up 0.04% to 96.0990.

The precious metal gained for five consecutive weeks, but prices have been hovering near a $20 range for the past two weeks, unable to surpass a technical resistance at $1,300 per ounce.

“Gold’s recent standstill seems to reflect the clouded US growth outlook, and uncertainty about the path forward for Fed monetary policy,” DailyFx currency strategist Ilya Spivak told Reuters.

Several Fed officials favoured a patient approach before raising rates again, due to headwinds for the US recovery, including self-imposed government shutdown and volatility in financial markets.

 “Markets seemed to assume the Fed’s rhetoric shift away from hawkish pre-commitment as inherently dovish, but strong data flow recently suggest it may yet find scope for hikes this year,” Spivak said.

How long the shutdown would remain would be crucial, rendering gold prices highly data-sensitive.

Gold was also buoyed amid jitters about a disorderly Brexit after the UK lawmakers voted against Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan on Tuesday, according to analysts.