Gold Futures Settle Sharply Lower As Dollar Stays Firm

Trading 21 fév 2019 Donner votre avis

Gold prices declined sharply on Thursday, as the dollar gained strength after the Fed's January meeting minutes hinted at a possible hike in interest rate sometime this year due to a fairly strong labor market and the overall strength in the economy.

The greenback's rise despite weak economic data prompted traders to shun the yellow metal.

According to the minutes, many participants observed that if recent uncertainty eases, the Fed would need to reassess the characterization of monetary policy as "patient" and might then use different statement language.

Gold futures for April ended down $20.10, or about 1.5%, at $1,327.80 an ounce, suffering their biggest single-day loss in about six months.

On Wednesday, gold futures for April settled at $1,347.90 an ounce, gaining $3.10 for the session.

Silver futures for March ended at $15.801 an ounce, losing $0.376, after gaining $0.210 at $16.177 an ounce, in the previous session.

Copper futures for March ended down $0.0230, at $2.8970 per pound, after settling with a gain of $0.0455 at $2.9200 per pound on Wednesday.

In economic news, a report from the Labor Department said first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell more than expected in the week ended February 16th, dropping to 216,000, down 23,000 from previous week's unrevised level of 239,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 229,000.

According to data released by the Commerce Department, durable goods orders surged up by a less than expected 1.2% in December, after jumping by an upwardly revised 1% in November. Economists had expected durable goods orders to soar by 1.5%, compared to the 0.7% increase that had been reported for the previous month.

Meanwhile, a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said that the Philadelphia-area manufacturing activity contracted for the first time since May of 2016.

The Philly Fed said its index for current manufacturing activity in the region tumbled to a negative 4.1 in February from a positive 17.0 in January, with a negative reading indicating contraction. The index had been expected to slip to 14.0.


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