Gold and silver retreat as dollar gains upper hand

Gold and silver slipped on Thursday as the and U.S. Treasury yields gained and markets awaited clarity on U.S. fiscal stimulus measures.

Spot gold dropped 0.9% to $1,818.00 an ounce by 1307 GMT after touching a two-month low. U.S. gold futures fell 1% to $1,817.20.

Silver, meanwhile, slipped 1.2% to $26.54.

“This flight into silver by some retail investors has been an excessive move to the upside, which is now corrected to normal fundamental-supported levels,” said Quantitative Commodity Research analyst Peter Fertig.

Silver prices have declined more than 12% since a GameStop-style retail frenzy sent them to their highest in nearly eight years at $30.03 on Monday.

“Gold is also under pressure from the technical side,” said Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann. “It dropped below the 200-day moving average, which triggered technical follow-up selling. If it goes below the $1,800 mark … we might see gold lower in the short-term.”

U.S. yields and a firmer dollar also pressured precious metals.

Making bullion more expensive for those holding other currencies, the dollar scaled a two-month peak, while U.S. 10-year Treasury yields were at a more than three-week high.

Gold is considered a hedge against inflation from large stimulus measures, but higher yields challenge that status because they increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

Investors also focused on a $1.9 trillion U.S. coronavirus aid plan passed by the U.S. House without Republican support.

“The biggest risk to gold is stronger recovery as vaccines roll out, to the extent that we see U.S. bond yields rally,” said Lachlan Shaw, National Australia Bank‘s head of commodity research.

However prices could remain supported if the rollout faces uncertainty because of emerging virus variants, he added.

In other precious metals, platinum fell 1.3% to $1,087.22 an ounce and palladium lost 0.3% to $2,267.99.

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