New York, USA (BBN) – Gold prices gained in Asia on Thursday as investors read the Fed minutes to suggest that a potential three rate hike forecast for this year was too dependent on President-elect Donald Trump pushing through aggressive tax cuts and spending plans.
Gold for February delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 0.57% to $1,171.95 a troy ounce, reports
Also on the Comex, silver futures for March delivery added 0.21% to $16.587 a troy ounce, while copper futures fell 0.23% to $2.552 a pound.
Elsewhere in metals trading, copper futures jumped 6.0 cents, or 2.4%, to $2.549 a pound amid indications global manufacturing sectors might be seeing a strong turnaround.
The Caixin services PMI for China rose to 53.4, a tick above 53.3 expected and that followed solid manufacturing figures from China as well as Japan regionally this week.
“Improved rates of new order growth were also seen across both monitored sectors in December. The pace of new business expansion accelerated to its strongest since July 2014 at manufacturing companies amid reports of improving client demand. At the same time, growth in new work at services companies quickened to a 17-month record. Subsequently, the rate of composite new order growth was the fastest since March 2013,” Caixin said in a release.
“Despite stronger expansions in activity and new work, service providers increased their payrolls at a softer pace in December. Furthermore, the latest increase in staff numbers was the slowest for three months and modest overall. Meanwhile, job shedding persisted across China’s manufacturing sector, though the rate of reduction was little-changed from November. At the composite level, employment fell slightly in December after broadly stabilising in the previous month.”
Overnight, gold prices rose on Wednesday, nearing a four-week high as the US dollar retreated from 14-year highs against basket of major currencies.
Prices of the yellow metal have fallen sharply since Donald Trump was elected president as a soaring US dollar, rising Treasury yields and a record-breaking rally on Wall Street have dampened its appeal.
The precious metal is sensitive to moves in US rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion, while boosting the dollar in which it is priced.
Both a strong dollar and higher interest rates are typically bearish for gold, which is denominated in dollars and struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when borrowing costs rise.