Gold futures edged lower on Thursday while the rest of the precious metals complex moved modestly higher and the dollar extended its recent pullback against its main rivals.
Prices for the yellow metal had moved higher for four straight sessions before it finished lower during Wednesday’s session. It appeared to be extending that move on Thursday.
Both metals are trading well below their highs from earlier in the year – gold topped $2,000 an ounce as recently as March before the Fed signaled plans for a more rapid pace of interest rate hikes, taking some of the shine off the illustrious metal.
Long seen as safe haven assets during periods of market volatility, gold and silver have been moving more in line with “risk” assets like equities in recent months and weeks, much to the chagrin of some long-time analysts.
Meanwhile, the dollar has drawn some of these haven flows, which in turn had helped to drive the greenback to its strongest level in decades, although the ICE dollar index
a gauge of the dollar’s strength against a basket of its main rivals, has recently retreated somewhat while some strategists, including Steven Barrow, head of G-10 strategy at Standard Bank, have predicted that the greenback could start to weaken.
Despite a dire economic warning out of China, and news that Apple
had told its contractors to assemble fewer-than-expected iPhones during the upcoming production cycle, the risk-on mood appeared to be buoyed by the reaction to the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s May meeting, which eased fears about a more aggressive hiking cycle.
“The Minutes included a boosting of the inflation forecast which could be viewed as hawkish, but risks are growing in parts of the Treasuries and commodities markets and that could derail much more aggressive action,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.
Other precious metals traded higher on Thursday, with platinum up 0.2%, or almost $2, to $931.20 an ounce. Palladium climbed 0.2%, or $4.20, to $1,993 an ounce.
prices softened a bit as the industrial metal shed almost 0.2%, or about 1 cent, to trade at $4.24 per pound.