Gold Ends Longest Losing Run Since May, Held Hostage by Yellen

  • Metal set for 1st daily gain in six before Jackson Hole speech
  • Silver heading for its biggest weekly drop since end of May

Gold headed for its first daily gain in more than a week as traders wait for a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that may give clues on the probability of tighter U.S. monetary policy this year.

Bullion for immediate delivery rose 0.3 percent to $1,326.41 an ounce by 12:18 p.m. in London after touching $1,318.18 on Thursday, the lowest level since July 27, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. The metal is heading for its biggest weekly drop in six.

Gold’s blistering rally in the first half, when prices surged 25 percent, has stalled since July as speculation mounts that the Fed will raise rates, blunting bullion’s appeal.

For more on the state of investment demand for gold, click here.

In the lead up to Yellen’s remarks at a central bankers’ gathering Friday in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, several policy makers including Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer have made the case for a hike this year. Traders see one-in-three odds of higher rates next month, while there’s a 57 percent chance of a move in December, up from 51 percent at the start of this week, according to Fed funds futures.

“The metal has been drifting lower this week with tactical traders reducing bullish bets ahead of what could be a key event,” Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S, said by e-mail. “The current price swing has, to a great deal, been contributed by swings in the dollar, where many currently don’t know what leg to stand on.”

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell for a second day after gaining in the first three days of the week.

In ETFs and other metals:

  • Holdings in bullion-backed exchange traded funds added 0.45 metric ton to 2,033.7 tons on Thursday, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
  • Silver gained 0.8 percent to $18.7058 an ounce. It’s down 3.1 percent this week, heading for the largest weekly drop since May. 
  • Platinum rose 1.1 percent to $1,085.60 an ounce. It’s heading for a fourth weekly decline, the longest run since November.
  • Palladium climbed 0.9 percent to $695.45 an ounce. It’s down 2.3 percent this week.
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