Gold plum­mets on dol­lar strength, firm for a monthly

Business a.m. - - COMMODITIES & AGRICULTURE - Temi­tayo Ayetoto

ADECLINE IN GOLD fu­tures Fri­day, on the back of fur­ther strength in the dol­lar, pushed the metal down for the week, but prices were still on track to tally a sec­ond straight monthly gain.

Gold for Fe­bru­ary de­liv­ery, -0.37 per­cent shed $6.60 at $1,223.80 an ounce, with the con­tract on track to reg­is­ter a weekly fall of 0.4 per­cent, based on last Fri­day’s set­tle­ment. It was up nearly 0.3 per­cent for Novem­ber.

Prices had weak­ened in elec­tronic trad­ing late Thurs­day, shortly af­ter min­utes from the Fed­eral Open Mar­ket Com­mit­tee’s Novem­ber mon­e­tary pol­icy meet­ing re­vealed that ev­ery mem­ber of the com­mit­tee was on board with lift­ing in­ter­est rates fairly soon.

The ac­count of the most re­cent gath­er­ing of U.S. mon­e­tary-pol­icy mak­ers helped to sta­bi­lize the dol­lar, sig­nal­ing that a rate in­crease in De­cem­ber was on track, even if speeches from cen­tral bankers sug­gest that the rate-hike path for­ward in 2019 may be less cer­tain.

On Fri­day, the dol­lar in­dex was up 0.4 per­cent at 97.169. A stronger dol­lar typ­i­cally weak­ens in­vest­ment de­mand for dol­lar-priced com­modi­ties, like gold. The buck was up 0.3 per­cent this week, but barely poised for a gain in Novem­ber, ac­cord­ing to data.

De­spite bul­lion’s re­cent lack­lus­ter trad­ing, some in­vestors main­tain a rel­a­tively san­guine out­look for gold in the first quar­ter of 2019.

“We are bear­ish on gold in the short term, but bullish on its prospects in [the first quar­ter of] 2019,” Mark O’Byrne, re­search di­rec­tor at GoldCore said in a mon­i­tored re­port, not­ing “there are some very real risks which look likely to im­pact risk as­sets and should see the re­turn of safe haven gold de­mand.”

Many in­vestors are main­tain­ing a fairly bear­ish out­look for the U.S. economy, over­all.

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