May 17, 2019 / 3:40 PM / 2 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold slides to two-week low, faces biggest weekly loss in a month

* Silver hits over 5-month low, platinum falls to 2-month trough

* Platinum set to mark worst week in 9-months

* Palladium down 19% from record peak in March

* Bullion down 0.7% so far this week (Updates prices)

By Brijesh Patel

May 17 (Reuters) - Gold prices on Friday slipped to their lowest in two weeks as the dollar advanced on the back of strong U.S. economic data, putting the metal on track for its biggest weekly decline in a month.

Spot gold fell 0.8% to $1,276.25 per ounce as of 1:46 p.m. EDT (1746 GMT), having dropped to its lowest since May 3 at $1,274.51 earlier in the session. The metal is down 0.7% for the week so far, which could be its biggest weekly decline since April 19.

U.S. gold futures settled down 0.82% at $1,275.70 an ounce.

“The dollar has strengthened due to relatively strong U.S. economic reports and little relaxation in geo-political tensions, all these combined has put downward pressure on gold prices,” said Jeff Klearman, portfolio manager at GraniteShares.

The dollar index gained, holding near a two-week high against a basket of currencies, making gold more expensive for holders of other currencies.

U.S. consumer sentiment jumped to a 15-year high in early May amid growing confidence over the economy’s outlook, data showed on Friday.

Spot gold fell 0.8% on Thursday, its biggest one-day percentage decline since mid-April, as strong economic data from the United States spurred investors towards riskier assets.

The falls in gold over the past couple of sessions has dented the technical picture for the metal, analysts said.

“Bullion prices had broken the bearish trendline that had marked the last few months,” Carlo Alberto De Casa, chief analyst with ActivTrades, wrote in a note.

“A clear recovery to the $1,300 level, and prices holding above this psychological threshold, would confirm the supportive scenario seen in the last two weeks, while a fall below $1,280 would be seen as a negative element.”

Meanwhile, world share markets pulled back as trade tensions were renewed after Chinese media took a hardline approach to the tariff dispute between the United States and China.

“Despite the risk-off sentiment in the market we are not seeing any underline support coming (for gold). However the geo-political tensions with Iran and ongoing trade talks with China could provide some support going forward,” said Alex Turro, market strategist at RJO Futures.

Among other metals, silver dropped 1% to $14.41 an ounce, after hitting its lowest since Dec. 6 at $14.38 an ounce. Silver is also on track for a decline of more than 2% for the week, its biggest since March 1.

Platinum dipped 1.9% to $813.50 per ounce, having hit a more than two-month low at $812.50 earlier in the session.

Palladium slipped 1.4% to $1,312.51 an ounce. The metal used in catalytic converters in car exhaust systems has slumped about 19% from a record high of $1,620.53 hit in March.

Both platinum and palladium are set to record weekly falls, with platinum on course for its biggest such drop since mid-August 2018. (Reporting by Brijesh Patel and Swati Verma in BengaluruEditing by Tom Brown and Cynthia Osterman)

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