Gold futures settled lower on Thursday, a day after the commodity marked the first back-to-back advance in about a month and the sharpest daily rise in two weeks.

“There is less interest and liquidity for gold in the slow days of August,” Jeff Wright, chief investment officer at Wolfpack Capital, told MarketWatch. Prices for the precious metal traded lower for the week, as well as the month, so far.

The U.S. producer price index data, a leading economic indicator for consumer prices down the road, “was pretty hot, exceeding consensus numbers across the board,” he said. The producer price index jumped 1% last month, the government said Thursday. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a 0.6% advance.

“There is no way to hide from inflation right now, especially given low rates and only discussion of Fed tapering,” said Wright, adding that in reaction, the U.S. dollar and U.S. Treasury yields have risen a bit in Thursday dealings.

“All of these factors are leading to gold to go a lower, he said. “Gold could be heading towards $1,700 given lack of interest and momentum.”

December gold
GCZ21,
+0.03%

 lost $1.50, or about 0.1%, to settle at $1,751.80 an ounce, following a more than 1% gain on Wednesday, which marked the first consecutive period of gains since a three-session run ended July 15 and the best daily advance for the most-active contract since July 29, FactSet data show.

Chintan Karnani, director of research at Insignia Consultants, said he’s focused on “taper timing.”

As a whole, if U.S. economic data releases continue to come in on the higher side of expectations, that would “justify the case for an early taper,” for the Federal Reserve, he told MarketWatch. If there’s even a suggestion of a slowdown within the economic data, the “taper will get delayed and gold will try to break past the triple top at $1,836.”

After data on Wednesday showed U.S. consumer price inflation moderating slightly and economists believe the reading might make the Fed less inclined to end its accommodations soon.

“The data would force the central bank to wait and watch upcoming reports more closely before making a firm decision relating to its monetary policy,” wrote Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade, in a recent daily note.

Meanwhile, silver for September delivery
SIU21,
-1.38%

 declined by 37 cents, or 1.6%, lower at $23.12 an ounce, after gaining 0.4% on Wednesday. September copper
HGU21,
-0.21%

settled at $4.36 a pound, down 0.2%.

October platinum
PLV21,
+0.33%

added 0.2% to $1,017.70 an ounce, while September palladium
PAU21,
-0.11%

lost 0.3% to $2,623.90 an ounce.

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