South Africa

Gold eases amid US stimulus hopes

Bengaluru — Gold inched lower on Friday as US Treasury yields ticked up, though bets of a large US stimulus kept the metal on course for its best week in five.

Spot gold fell 0.3% to $1,863.56/oz at 2.33am GMT, retreating from its highest since January 8 hit on Thursday. For the week, it was up 2% in what would be its biggest weekly gain since the week ended December 18. US gold futures eased 0.1% to $1,863.90/oz.

“Gold is struggling a bit due to a lift in nominal yields, which came off the back of strong US jobless claims number, also the European Central Bank (ECB) came out a little less dovish than the market would like,” said IG Market analyst Kyle Rodda.

Benchmark 10-year US Treasury yields held firm above 1%, helping the dollar trade steady. Higher yields increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

US weekly jobless claims decreased modestly last week, but concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on the labour market persisted.

ECB president Christine Lagarde on Thursday kept the central bank’s policy unchanged, but said it was prepared to provide more support to the economy if needed.

Focus also remained on the $1.9-trillion stimulus relief proposed by US President Joe Biden to revive the world’s largest economy from the effects of the pandemic. However, there is potential for the stimulus package to be watered down as it passes through the Senate, which will be negative for gold as it will strip down some of the inflation expectations, Rodda said.

Silver shed 1.1% to $25.67/oz, but was set to register its best week in five, up 3.7% so far. Platinum fell 1.2% to $1,113.40/oz but was set to post its second straight weekly gain, up 3.6%. Palladium eased 0.1% to $2,359.19/oz.

Reuters

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