Gold Continues to Fall as Trade, Jobless Data Weighs

Jul 19, 2018

Metal prices continued to falter on Thursday amid trade concerns and a strengthening U.S. dollar.

Comex Gold futures for August delivery decreased 0.88% to a one-and-a-half-year low of $1,217.10 a troy ounce as of 10:58 AM ET (14:58 GMT).

The precious metal was held back as trade tensions continued after China said the White House was wrong to blame Chinese President Xi Jinping for blocking progress on a trade deal. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told CNBC that the U.S. President Donald Trump's trade strategy is not as disruptive as many describe.

Meanwhile jobless claims fell to its lowest level since December 1969, supporting expectations for increased Federal Reserve rates. The Fed raised rates twice this year and is expected to raise rates at least once more before the end of the year.

Higher rates are a negative for gold as the precious metal, which does not pay interest, struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when rates rise.

Meanwhile the dollar rallied, which also weighed on the metal. Gold falls as the dollar rises, as the precious metal is denominated in the U.S. currency and is sensitive to moves in the dollar.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, increased 0.38% to 95.20.

Bullion becomes more expensive for holders of other currencies when the dollar rises and cheaper when it falls.

Other metals were also down on the Comex, with Silver futures falling 1.86% to $15.285 a troy ounce. Among other precious metals, Platinum Futures slumped 1.75% to $803.50 while Palladium Futures decreased 3.91% to $866.50 an ounce. Copper futures lost 2.03% to $2.704 a pound.