Gold holds 9-month high as dollar sinks, recession fears resurface

Gold holds 9-mth high as dollar sinks, recession fears resurface By

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Commodities 12 minutes ago (Feb 01, 2023 09:26PM ET)

By Ambar Warrick– Gold prices rose to a nine-month high on Thursday after rallying sharply in the prior session as the Federal Reserve’s commitment to keep raising interest rates dented the dollar and pushed up fears of a potential economic slowdown this year.

The yellow metal largely outperformed its peers this week, with the Fed meeting serving to increase gold’s appeal as a safe haven. Gold prices surged over 1% after the Fed hiked interest rates by a relatively smaller 25 basis points (bps) and acknowledged its progress against inflation. But the central bank also expressed uncertainty over where interest rates will peak.

This drove up expectations for a pause in the Fed’s interest rate hikes by mid-2023 and a potential reduction in interest rates by the end of the year as U.S. economic growth cools. Such a scenario is likely to be positive for gold.

Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,954.17 an ounce, while gold futures jumped to $1,969.15 an ounce by 21:05 ET (02:05 GMT).

Gold’s rise coincided with sharp weakness in the dollar, with the greenback tumbling to an over nine-month low against a basket of currencies. Investment bank ING forecast that the Fed will likely raise interest rates once more before announcing a pause.

The greenback was also pressured by anticipation of interest rate hikes by the European Central Bank and the Bank of England, which bolstered the euro and the pound. Both banks are expected to hike rates by 50 bps each and signal more incoming hikes as they move to contain high inflation.

But rising interest rates are also likely to further pressure global economic growth, which, coupled with perceived weakness in the dollar, benefits gold’s status as a safe haven.

Other precious metals also advanced. Platinum futures rose 0.6% to $1,018.50 an ounce, while silver futures surged 2.8% to $24.270 an ounce.

On the other hand, industrial metals such as copper fell behind on heightened fears of a recession this year.

High-grade copper futures steadied at $4.1787 a pound on Thursday, after tumbling nearly 3% in the prior session.

Uncertainty over an economic recovery in China also weighed, following mixed data prints from the world’s largest copper importer.

Gold holds 9-mth high as dollar sinks, recession fears resurface

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