Gold prices at near 1-week low as dollar retains upper hand

SINGAPORE: Gold prices fell on Monday to their lowest in nearly one week, with investors opting for the US dollar as a preferred refuge amid concerns the spread of the Delta coronavirus variant could dampen global economic recovery.

Spot gold was down 0.4% at $1,804.60 per ounce, as of 0716 GMT, after falling to its lowest since July 13 at $1,801.46.

US gold futures slipped 0.6% to $1,804.10.

“The dollar strength is limiting gold’s upside and sort of remains one of the key headwind,” said Harshal Barot, a senior research consultant for South Asia at Metals Focus.

“There are emerging concerns about the Delta variant and its impact on global economic growth. So, primary safe-haven flows are also going into the dollar and bonds.”

The dollar strengthened 0.2% to a more than three-month high against its rivals, making gold more expensive for holders of other currencies.

Sentiment in wider financial markets remained weak as investor risk appetite was soured by growing inflationary pressures and a relentless surge in coronavirus cases.

Many countries, particularly in Asia, are struggling to curb the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus and have been forced into taking lockdown measures.

“The loss of upside momentum shifted the risks for gold to the downside,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA.

“For now, though, and despite the noisy price action, gold remains hemmed in by its 100- and 200-day moving averages at $1,792 and $1,826 an ounce, respectively.”

Meanwhile, holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.6% to 1,028.55 tonnes on Friday, the lowest since May 14.

Spot gold may break a support at $1,813 per ounce and fall towards $1,789, following its failure to break a resistance at $1,833, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Elsewhere, silver fell 1.1% to $25.37 per ounce, palladium rose 0.3% to $2,638.44, and platinum dropped 0.8% to $1,093.40.

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