Gold prices edges higher as dollar eases, trade dispute intensifies

Big 5

Gold prices inched up on Tuesday as the dollar held near a two-week low hit in the previous session against the yen, amid escalating trade tensions involving the United States and other major economies.

Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,266.26 an ounce, as of 0048 GMT. U.S. gold futures for August delivery were down 0.1 percent at $1,268 per ounce.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, fell 0.1 percent to 109.64 yen, after having slipped to a two-week low of 109.35 on Monday.

Conflicting signals from the Trump administration over proposed restrictions on foreign investment in U.S. technology companies, along with news that recently imposed import tariffs are starting to disrupt supply chains, sent global stock markets tumbling on Monday.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that forthcoming investment restrictions from the department will not be specific to China but would apply “to all countries that are trying to steal our technology.”

Hedge funds are loading up on bullish dollar bets at the fastest pace on record, taking the Fed’s recent hawkish signal on interest rates at face value and going long the greenback for the first time in a year.

Sales of new U.S. single-family homes increased more than expected in May, but the overall housing market remained constrained by a dearth of properties for sale.

Bank of Japan board member Makoto Sakurai said on Monday the central bank needs to stick with its current easing framework to support improvements in the job market and consumer prices.

Bank of Japan policymakers said the central bank should “patiently continue” its powerful monetary easing but attention must be paid to the potential side effects of prolonged easy policy, a summary of opinions at the June review showed.

The European Central Bank will buy around 15 billion euros worth of bonds per month next year, using cash from maturing debt it has bought under its stimulus program, ECB board member Benoit Coeure said in an interview published on Monday.

Gold-backed exchange-traded funds tracked by Thomson Reuters were headed for their weakest month since July 2017, as investors covered losses in equities, commodities and other markets caused by tariff disputes.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.54 percent to 820.21 tonnes on Monday.

Source: Reuters