Gold hits 6-month high on falling dollar, equities

Gold bangles are displayed at a gold shop in Gold Souq in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Dec 30, 2018.
Gold bangles are displayed at a gold shop in Gold Souq in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Dec 30, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

BENGALURU • Gold scaled a more than six-month peak yesterday as the dollar fell along with Asian equities after disappointing data from China cemented fears of a slowdown in global economic growth.

Spot gold was up 0.4 per cent at US$1,287.31 an ounce by 1113 GMT, having earlier touched its highest since June 15 at US$1,288.66.

US gold futures rose 0.5 per cent to US$1,287.80 per ounce.

"It looks very optimistic and fundamentally supportive for gold as the overall mood is still very uncertain and the market confidence is still weak on global growth worries," said commodities analyst Benjamin Lu Jiaxuan at Phillip Futures.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of major currencies, was hovering near a two-month low hit in the previous session. A softer dollar makes the greenback-denominated bullion cheaper for investors holding other currencies.

Also, Asian shares turned tail on the first trading day of the new year as more disappointing economic data from China, the world's second-largest economy, darkened the mood and erased early gains in US stock futures.

"The global economy has entered into an uncharted territory considering the fact that the Chinese data was worse than expected," said Mr Kunal Shah, head of research at Nirmal Bang Commodities in Mumbai.

"With uncertainties on global economy and geopolitical concerns, it's just a matter of time gold is going to shoot up."

Markets were looking for views from Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell on the US economic outlook and hints about rate hikes this year when he participates in a joint discussion with former Fed chairmen Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke tomorrow.

There are expectations that a three-year rate-hiking cycle in the United States has come to a close. Markets currently expect no rate hikes next year.

A halt in interest rate increases would be beneficial for non-interest bearing bullion.

Among other precious metals, palladium lost 0.77 per cent to US$1,254.30 per ounce. Silver was down 0.13 per cent at US$15.42 an ounce, while platinum was flat at US$791.40 per ounce.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 03, 2019, with the headline 'Gold hits 6-month high on falling dollar, equities'. Print Edition | Subscribe