New York, US (BBN) – Gold prices held slightly weaker on Monday in Asia after mixed regional data sets and political risk events this week in focus.
Gold for April delivery eased 0.04 per cent to $1,250.65 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, reports
Copper fell 0.30 per cent to $2.648 a pound as labor disruptions at mines in Chile, Peru and Indonesia get resolved.
In Australia the AIG manufacturing index for March eased to 57.5 from 59.3, still solidly in expansion, while Japan’s Tankan large manufacturers survey showed a rise to plus-12 from plus-10.
Also in Australia, first quarter and building approvals spiked 8.3 per cent, well above the 0.5 per cent decline seen for February and retail sales dipped 0.1 per cent, missing the 0.3 per cent increase expected.
Also on Monday, financial markets in Shanghai will be closed for a holiday and later in the US New York Fed President William Dudley, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker and Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker are all set to speak.
In the week ahead, investors will be looking to Wednesday’s Fed minutes for fresh indications on the timing of the next US rate hike ahead of Friday’s closely watched nonfarm payrolls report and a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump in Florida.
Last week, gold prices retraced losses on Friday after a Federal Reserve official said the central bank was in no rush to tighten monetary policy this year.
Gold moved higher after New York Fed President William Dudley said Friday that it made sense to raise rates at a gradual pace this year. Expectations of a slower pace of rate increases tend to boost gold, which is denominated in dollars and struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when borrowing costs rise.
The precious metal ended the quarter with a gain of almost 8.5 per cent boosted by the weaker dollar and growing doubts over whether the Trump administration’s economic proposals would boost the US economy and allow the Fed to tighten policy more aggressively.