Gold Treads Water; Europe, Central Financial institution Shopping for Restrict Loss

By Barani Krishnan

Investing.com – The ECB’s stalling of rate hikes has helped gold from succumbing further to pressure from a strengthening dollar.

The spot price of bullion, as well as gold futures, remained near multi-week lows of under $1,300 an ounce on Thursday, while the dollar hit three-month highs.

For the day, though, the yellow metal barely shed any more of its value, despite the dollar’s jump against the euro on the European Central Bank’s decision to slash 2019 growth and inflation forecasts and trim expectations for the same through 2021.

Gold futures for April delivery settled down $1.50, or 0.1%, at $1,286.10 per ounce.

Spot gold, reflective of trades in physical bullion, meanwhile, was lower by $1, or 0.08%, at $1,285.56 per ounce by 2:57 PM ET (19:57 GMT).

Gold hit 10-month peaks just shy of $1,350 an ounce on Feb. 20, a month after getting to the $1,300 level. It fell under that critical price point on Friday after a heightened rally in the dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six currencies.

In Thursday’s session, the dollar rose 0.7% to 97.46, its highest level since early December.

A rallying dollar generally weighs on gold and, while the ECB move positioned the greenback as a winner against the euro on Thursday, worries over the eurozone also propped up bullion’s standing as a safe haven.

“Gold was deprived of a safety rally that ought to have come from the ECB decision, which ended up mainly benefiting the dollar,” said George Gero, precious metals analyst at RBC Wealth Management in New York.

“Yet, the developments in Europe revived worries about the global economy, Brexit difficulties and the unresolved U.S.-China trade war, all of which are good for gold,” Gero added. “That led to central bank demand for bullion that kept gold from succumbing further to the dollar rally.”

Palladium prices also fell on Thursday, although the auto-catalyst metal retained its standing as the world’s costliest metal.

The spot price of palladium slid by $6.20, or 0.4%, to $1,530.10 per ounce. Spot palladium hit a record high of $1,569.40 last week on fears of short supply.

Trades in other Comex metals as of 2:30 PM ET (19:30 GMT):

Palladium futures down $1.30, or 0.1%, at $1,485.10 per ounce.

Platinum futures down $12.10, or 1.5, at $816 per ounce.

Silver futures down 7 cents, or 0.4%, at $15.02 per ounce.

Copper futures down 0.5 cent, or 0.2%, at $2.91 per pound.

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