Gold prices weaken, eye break below $2,300 as rate jitters persist

  • Investing.com
  • Commodities News
Gold prices weaken, eye break below $2,300 as rate jitters persist
Credit: © Reuters.

Investing.com-- Gold prices fell in Asian trade on Thursday and were close to breaking below key levels as waning safe haven demand and the prospect of higher-for-longer U.S. interest rates battered the yellow metal.

Bullion prices were nursing a sharp drop from record highs over the past week, as a potential conflict between Iran and Israel did not escalate as markets were fearing. This largely dented safe haven demand for the yellow metal.

Waning safe haven demand left gold vulnerable to headwinds from U.S. rates, given that higher-for-longer rates push up the opportunity cost of investing in bullion.

Spot gold fell 0.1% to $2,313.62 an ounce, while gold futures expiring in June fell 0.6% to $2,325.05 an ounce by 00:26 ET (04:26 GMT). 

Strength in the dollar - which remained close to recent five-month peaks, also pressured metal prices.

Gold eyes $2,300 support, more rate cues awaited 

Spot prices were now close to breaking below the $2,300 an ounce support level, which could herald more near-term losses for the yellow metal.

But gold’s next leg of movement is expected to be driven largely by more upcoming cues on the U.S. economy and interest rates.

First-quarter U.S. gross domestic product data due later on Thursday is expected to show whether the world’s largest economy remained resilient in the beginning of 2024. 

PCE price index data- which is the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge- is likely to have a bigger impact on gold, given that it ties directly into the central bank’s outlook on interest rates.

Hotter-than-expected U.S. inflation readings and hawkish Fed signals saw traders largely price out expectations for a June rate cut- a scenario that presents more near-term pressure for gold prices.

Other precious metals also retreated on Thursday after tumbling from recent peaks over the past week. Platinum futures fell 0.3% to $910.30 an ounce, while silver futures fell 1% to $27.078 an ounce.

Copper prices cool further from 2-year highs

Among industrial metals, copper prices fell further from recent two-year highs as weak economic readings and fears of high interest rates somewhat offset optimism over tighter markets. 

Three-month copper futures on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.2%  to $9,773.0 a ton, while one-month copper futures fell 0.1% to $4.4510 a pound. Both contracts were below two-year highs hit earlier in April, after stricter western sanctions on Russian metal exports pointed to tighter markets. 

But this optimism was dulled by top copper producer Chile signaling that state-owned copper miner Coldeco will increase output in 2024.

Concerns over steady demand also weighed after U.S. purchasing managers index data read weaker than expected for April, with the manufacturing sector back in contraction territory. 

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