The metal fell as low as US$1,079.50 on Friday, near last month’s trough of US$1,077, its weakest since February 2010.
Expectations for a Fed rate hike-and the resulting strength in the U.S. dollar-have been credited with driving gold and other commodities lower.
“Physical [gold bullion] demand continues to cushion further price declines”, says Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi’s precious metals analyst Jonathan Butler in his weekly note, pointing to the US Mint reporting a fourfold surge in sales of gold Eagle coins in July, plus a doubling of trading volume on China’s Shanghai Gold Exchange. U.S. gold for December delivery GCcv1 slipped 0.1 percent to $1,093.60 an ounce.
GOLD BULLION held in a tight $4 range either side of $1093 per ounce in London on Monday, trading sideways as industrial metals sank to new 6-year lows following the weakest Chinese manufacturing data in two years. It was down 0.2 per cent against a basket of currencies, pegged back by US factory activity and consumer spending data on Monday that suggested the world’s largest economy may have lost some momentum in the past two months. The next crucial data release is US nonfarm payroll figures, due on August 7. Investors have been keeping a sharp eye on economic data as this could influence the timing of the first US interest rate increase in almost a decade. The hope of the US Federal Reserve, however, is that the recovery on the labour market will ultimately generate stronger growth in wages and thus lead to higher inflation in the medium term.
Silver prices today tracked gold bullion, reclaiming half of a tight 10-cent drop from Friday’s close to trade around $14.72 per ounce.
There are expectations for that rate hike could come as early as September, presenting more downside risk for non-interest yielding gold.
Billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson, one of the world’s most influential gold investors, said on Friday that the metal is now at an appropriate price level, following last week’s rout that dragged prices to five-year lows. Palladium XPD= gained 0.3 percent to $610.50 an ounce.
Gold was put under pressure as the US dollar rose by 0.3 percent to 97.74 on Tuesday. Spot platinum dropped 1.1 percent to $970.99 an ounce, after posting the biggest monthly fall in ten months at 8.7 percent in July.