Sep 15, 2023: Gold prices rose in Asian trade on Friday as markets bet that the Federal Reserve will keep rates on hold despite recent increases in inflation, while copper prices surged on more stimulus measures from major importer China.
Data released this week showed that U.S. consumer and producer inflation rose more than expected through August. But the increases were insufficient in convincing traders that the Federal Reserve will hike rates further when it meets next week.
While gold benefited from this notion, further gains in the yellow metal were held back by a dollar rally, as the greenback scaled six-month peaks on Thursday.
Spot gold rose 0.3% to $1,916.80 an ounce, while gold futures expiring in December rose 0.3% to $1,938.35 an ounce by 00:48 ET (04:48 GMT). Both instruments were still set to close the week marginally lower.
Spot gold tests $1,900 support as dollar surges
Despite logging some gains in recent sessions, gold prices still remained under pressure from fears of higher U.S. interest rates. Spot gold prices came close to breaking below the $1,900 an ounce level on Thursday, before recovering its losses.
Strength in the dollar and Treasury yields was a key source of this pressure, as markets sought better yields in the greenback and government bonds.
While the Fed is expected to keep rates on hold next week, markets are also uncertain over what the bank’s outlook on rates will look like, considering the recent increases in inflation.
The central bank is widely expected to keep rates higher for longer, with a rate cut being priced in only by mid-2024. Recent increases in inflation also raised the possibility of one more rate hike this year.
Rising interest rates bode poorly for gold, given that they increase the opportunity cost of investing in non-yielding assets. This trade, coupled with signs of resilience in the U.S. economy, have largely sapped demand for gold over the past year.
Copper rallies on China optimism, set for bumper week
Among industrial metals, copper prices rose to a 10-day high on Friday, buoyed chiefly by some positive economic readings and more stimulus measures from major importer China.
Copper futures jumped 0.8% to $3.8492 a pound, and were also set for a 3.5% weekly gain.
Data on Friday showed Chinese industrial production and retail sales grew more than expected in August, showing some resilience in the world’s largest copper importer. Strength in industrial activity is expected to drive more demand for copper in the country.
The positive data came just a day after the People’s Bank of China cut reserve requirements for local banks, freeing up more liquidity to support a slowing economic recovery.
But other indicators showed that large swathes of China’s economy were still under pressure. Fixed asset investment- which represents capital spending by businesses- grew less than expected in August, while house prices declined for a tenth straight month.
Source Courtesy: Investing.com