Gold slides as market looks to Fed rate rise

Gold prices fell on Tuesday due to expectations of rising U.S. interest rates and a higher dollar and improving sentiment for global economic growth, which means investors are likely to favour risk assets such as equities.

Bullion prices came off their lows as the U.S. dollar turned negative against a basket of six major currencies.

Spot gold was down 0.42 percent at $1,188.37 an ounce as of 2:40 p.m. EDT.

U.S. gold futures for December delivery settled at $1187.90.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is seen raising rates in December and boosting the U.S. currency, which when it rises makes commodities more expensive for non-U.S. buyers.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, hit a nearly 14-year peak of 102.050 last week.

“Gold is struggling here with the higher dollar and better sentiment for growth,” said Danske Bank analyst Jens Pederson.

“Rising bond yields means it’s cheaper to buy U.S. Treasuries, which, like gold, are viewed as a risk-free asset.”

However, government bonds, unlike gold, earn interest. Expectations of stronger growth after U.S President-elect Donald Trump takes office in January have also helped equity markets since the election earlier this month.

“After the election people are thinking we’re going to get a few more years of growth and stronger equities,” said Andrew Cole, a fund manager at Pictet Asset Management. “Gold’s losses are not surprising given the dollar.”

Analysts said doubts about whether Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi will win a referendum on Sunday on constitutional reform have not, as some had expected, countered negative sentiment towards gold.

But the Italian vote and Austria’s presidential election also on Sunday cannot be ignored.

On the technical front, traders say a break of a Fibonacci support level at $1,171.76 last week means gold could see lower levels over coming weeks.

“The trigger could be higher U.S. rates,” one trader said.

“What the Fed says about the timing of further rises will also be important for gold.”

Silver fell 0.5 percent to $16.54 an ounce, while platinum lost 0.1 percent to $921.85.

Palladium gained 0.1 percent to $756.0 after rising to its highest since June 4, 2015, at $760.30 on Monday.

Source: Reuters