Metal Prices Up as Dollar Dashes Lower

Jul 20, 2018

Metal prices were higher Friday as the dollar moved sharply lower after President Donald Trump said higher interest rates and the strength of the greenback were hampering economic growth.

Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose by $8.10, or 0.66%, to $1,232.30 a troy ounce from a session low of $1.215.50.

Trump took to Twitter to express concerns about a strong U.S. dollar, which he said was “taking away our [United States] big competitive edge.” As well as the Fed's approach to monetary policy, other central banks were also targeted by Trump as he claimed they were “manipulating their currencies and interest rates lower.”

That came a day after the president said he was "not happy" about interest-rate increases during an interview with CNBC Thursday, prompting traders to trim their upside bets on the greenback, lending support to the yellow metal.

Trump's headline-grabbing comments about interest rates had little impact on rate-hike expectations as the odds for a fourth rate hike in December rose to 56.2% from 55.2%, according to 's Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell by 0.82% to 94.20. The dollar inex had traded as high as 95.44 on Thursday prior to Trump's comments, but turned slightly negative for the week amid Friday's plunge.

Gold is sensitive to moves lower in both bond yields and the U.S. dollar. A weaker dollar makes gold cheaper for holders of foreign currency raising demand, while a fall in U.S. bond yields limits the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.

The weaker dollar overshadowed renewed focus on U.S.-China trade-war tensions after the president said he was "ready" to slap $500 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods imported to the U.S.

Copper prices rose 2.10% to $2.75, while zinc prices fell 2.76% to 2,549.00.

Aluminium prices fell 2.11% to 2,045.50, while Nickel futures rose 0.80% to 13,532.00.

Silver futures 0.93% to $15.55 a troy ounce, while Platinum futures rose 2.89% to $829.60