Gold Futures Jump to Two-Month High as Dollar Sags; Copper Rises

Updated on
  • Trump signs order to withdraw from TPP; dollar weakens
  • Holdings in bullion exchange-traded funds rise for fifth day

Investors Clamor for Gold Amid Uncertainty Over Trump

Gold futures rose to the highest since November as protectionist signals from President Donald Trump’s administration unsettled financial markets and weakened the dollar, spurring demand for the metal as a haven. Copper and other industrial metals also climbed.

Bullion posted a second straight gain as the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell to near the lowest in a month. Gold has risen more than 5 percent this year, helped by a decline in the U.S. currency that’s boosting the appeal of metals as alternative assets.

Gold investors have focused on two main views since Trump’s election in November: one seeing him as a wild card upending policy on everything from trade to alliances, and the other betting that he’ll boost U.S. growth, equities and the dollar. The administration’s opening days have been marked by protests, disputes about what constitutes a fact and assertions from Trump that he’ll put “America first.”

“It’s becoming increasingly apparent that economic activity in the U.S. under this new president may not be as stellar as many have thought,” said Bart Melek, the head of commodity strategy at Toronto-Dominion Bank in Toronto. “The U.S. dollar has been dropping. That’s a positive outcome for gold.”

Gold futures for February delivery rose 0.9 percent to settle at $1,215.60 an ounce at 1:44 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal touched $1,219.40, the highest since Nov. 22. Prices are up about 5.6 percent this month. 

Lead paced gains in industrial metals on the London Metal Exchange, with aluminum, nickel, zinc and copper also advancing. Tin declined.

Trump signed an executive order Monday to withdraw the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He’s also expected to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement in the near-term. The Bloomberg dollar gauge, which tracks the greenback against 10 peers, fell as much as 0.7 percent.

“In this kind of very unforeseeable environment, people want to buy gold,” said Bob Takai, chief executive officer and president of Sumitomo Corp. Global Research Co., said by phone from Tokyo.

Investors have started buying gold through exchange-traded funds again. Holdings rose 0.9 metric ton on Friday to 1,776.7 tons. The fifth straight daily gain is the longest run since Nov. 3, data compiled by Bloomberg show. After Trump’s win, assets dropped every week through to Jan. 13 as a rally in equities and the dollar curbed demand.

In other precious metals: 

  • Silver futures for March delivery rose 0.9 percent to $17.186 an ounce.
  • Platinum futures for April delivery gained 0.4 percent to $979.90 an ounce.
  • Palladium futures for March delivery fell 2.1 percent to $771.50 an ounce.

— With assistance by Thomas Seal

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