Gold futures finished lower Tuesday as equity markets tilted higher and U.S. Treasury yields and the dollar edged up.

The decline in bullion prices was also attributed to some consolidation of profits by investors after a run above $1,800 for the precious metal.

The decline for gold came as stocks took a leg higher on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
+0.65%

and the S&P 500 index
SPX,
+0.66%

gaining altitude, while the yield for the 10-year Treasury note
TMUBMUSD10Y,
1.186%

was up slightly at around 1.18% and the U.S. dollar was inching higher, up around 0.05%, measured by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index
DXY,
+0.04%
.

Against that backdrop, December gold
GCZ21,
-0.48%

GC00,
-0.48%
,
the most active contract, closed $8.10, or 0.4%, lower at $1,814.10 an ounce, following a 0.3% gain to start the week and the first session in August.

Price action for the precious commodity may ultimately be dictated by the monthly U.S. labor-market data due Friday which could help investors better gauge the economic recovery from the COVID pandemic against the backdrop of the spread of the highly transmissible delta variant.

Commodity investors continue to key in on comments from Federal Reserve members, with some policy makers offering a more hawkish stance on monetary policy since the conclusion of the Fed’s rate-setting meeting last week.

On Monday, Fed Gov. Christopher Waller said during a CNBC interview that the Fed should consider tapering its $120 billion-a-month asset purchases as soon as its next meeting in September, and at a fast enough pace to get it done quickly.

“If the jobs reports come in as I think they are going to…then in my view, with tapering, we should go early and go fast,” Waller said.

“Remember, the Fed is still very much data dependent and the if the economic data cannot support their case, we are unlikely to see any hawkish comments from the Fed,” writes Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade, in a daily research note.

On a longer-term basis, a number of strategists are upbeat on gold, betting that the dollar will remain soft and a rise in the delta variant will support gold gains.

“The recent surge in the COVID-19 Delta variant has recently raised the specter of a return to shutdowns and a possible hit to the economy.” wrote Paul Wong, market strategist at Sprott, in a research note.

“The [dollar] has also put in a short-term top in July. The long-term picture on the USD remains bearish with a large top in progress but not triggered yet,” the analysts wrote. They argue that with new lows in real yields, those adjusted for inflation, and the dollar unable to break higher, gold and gold-pegged assets “could break to new highs coming in early 2022.”

Meanwhile, silver futures for September
SIU21,
+0.12%

were little-changed, adding 0.7 cent, to settle at $25.582 an ounce, after gaining 0.1% on Monday.

Elsewhere on Comex, September copper
HGU21,
-1.15%

HG00,
-1.15%

 lost 4.7 cents, or 1.1%, to finish at $4.386 a pound after prices lost 1.1% Monday.

October platinum
PLV21,
-0.97%

PL00,
-0.97%
,
meanwhile, shed $9.40, or 0.9%, to end at $1,046.90 an ounce, after rising 0.8% a day ago, while September palladium
PAU21,
-1.27%

 
PA00,
-1.27%

traded $38.80, or 1.4%, lower to settle at $2,645.30 an ounce, following a 1.1% advance on Monday.

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