Gold loses sheen, faces worst month in eight

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Updated: March 29, 2019 11:38:06 AM

Spot gold was down about 0.1 percent at $1,288.74 per ounce by 0507 GMT, after declining about 1.5 per cent in the previous session, the most in over seven months.

The metal is set for its first weekly fall in four and has lost about 1.8 per cent this month.

Gold slipped on Friday and was headed for its worst month since August 2018 as the dollar and equities rose, while palladium bounced back after three straight sessions of sharp selloffs. Spot gold was down about 0.1 per cent at $1,288.74 per ounce by 0507 GMT, after declining about 1.5 per cent in the previous session, the most in over seven months.

The metal is set for its first weekly fall in four and has lost about 1.8 per cent this month. But on a quarterly basis, gold is on path for a second straight rise, due to a dovish U.S. Federal Reserve and concerns about a global economic slowdown. U.S. gold futures were down 0.1 per cent at $1,288 an ounce.

The dollar was poised for its strongest monthly gain in five, while Asian shares rose on hopes that Washington and Beijing are making progress in trade talks. The world’s two largest economies started the new round of talks on Thursday to end the year-long tit-for-tat tariffs war.

“If we have a positive outcome from the trade talks, gold will be under pressure as investors will rotate out into more risk seeking assets,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst with OANDA. “But, if we have disappointing outcome then stocks will go down and people will move into safe-haven assets like gold.”

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Thursday the United States could lift some tariffs on China, while leaving others in place as part of an enforcement mechanism on a trade deal. Meanwhile, spot palladium rose 1.1 per cent to $1,363 an ounce on Friday, recovering from a two-month low touched in the previous session.

The metal, used in the making of catalytic converters in vehicles, slid 6.6 per cent on Thursday, the most since January 2017, and was set for its worst week since November 2015, as worries about a slowdown in global economic growth triggered a sharp sell-off. On a monthly basis, it was headed for its biggest drop since end-2016. “Negative market sentiment due to slowing economic growth triggered speculative selling in palladium,” ANZ analysts said in a note.

Elsewhere, silver was flat at $15.01 an ounce, while platinum rose about 1 per cent to $844.75 an ounce.

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