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Gold prices steady below $2,400; Rate fears, dollar pressure persist

Published 04/18/2024, 12:35 AM
© Reuters.
- Gold prices recovered from overnight losses in Asian trade on Thursday, and remained below recent peaks as fears of higher-for-longer interest rates and pressure from a strong dollar remained in play.

The yellow metal had surged to record highs last week as safe haven demand ramped up after Iran launched a strike against Israel. But fears of a greater conflict cooled slightly this week as Israel did not retaliate immediately over the strike.

Pressure from the dollar also eased slightly this week as the greenback retreated from over five-month highs on Wednesday. But the prospect of higher-for-longer interest rates saw gold take little advantage of this weakness.

Spot gold rose 0.6% to $2,374.31 an ounce, while gold futures expiring in June rose slightly to $2,389.05 an ounce by 00:21 ET (04:21 GMT). Spot prices tumbled 0.9% on Wednesday, seeing some profit taking after surging to record highs of over $2,340 an ounce last week.

Gold sees profit-taking, but close to leaving overbought territory 

Gold saw a heavy degree of profit-taking this week after hitting record highs, especially as a lack of immediate escalation in the Iran-Israel conflict saw some risk appetite return to markets. 

Spot prices still remained in overbought territory, their 14-day relative strength index showed. But the indicator was close to returning to neutral territory below 70 points- a scenario that could potentially prime gold for more near-term gains.

Still, further gains in gold remain in doubt in the face of higher-for-longer U.S. interest rates. Strong inflation data and hawkish signals from the Federal Reserve saw traders largely price out expectations for a June rate cut by the central bank. 

Other precious metals were mixed on Thursday after also seeing some weakness this week. Platinum futures fell 0.3% to $949.60 an ounce, while silver futures rose 0.2% to $28.465 an ounce.

Copper, aluminum advance on dollar weakness 

Industrial metal prices rose back towards recent peaks on Thursday, benefiting from a softer dollar and bets that U.S. economic resilience will help underpin metal demand. 

Three-month copper futures on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.4% to $9,591 a ton- coming close to a two-year high, while one-month copper futures rose 0.5% to $4.3623 a pound- also remaining close to a two-year high. 

Aluminum futures rose 0.6% to $2,589.0 a ton. 

Industrial metal prices surged in recent weeks on expectations of tighter supplies, after the U.S. and its allies imposed stricter sanctions on Russian metal exports.

Copper prices were also boosted by several major Chinese smelters signaling they will reduce production. 

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