Trump-Policy Concerns Send Gold Shooting to a Two-Month HighBy
Hedge Funds raise bullish bets on gold to most since December
ETF holdings record longest stretch of gains since October
Gold futures surged to the highest in more than two months as investors grow wary about the possible impact of U.S. President Donald Trump’s domestic and international policies.
Data on Friday showed U.S. wage growth slowed, reducing the odds of Federal Reserve rate increases this year and sending bullion to the biggest weekly gain since June. Uncertainty about Trump’s fiscal-stimulus policies and his administration’s spats with traditional allies helped push hedge funds’ bullish bets on gold to the most in almost two months.
“There’s still more uncertainty in the administration’s policies,” Phil Streible, a senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “The long gold position is the good trade to have on. We should see $1,250 soon.”
Gold futures for April delivery advanced 0.9 percent to settle at $1,232.10 an ounce at 1:45 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the highest close since Nov. 10.
Bullion has risen 7 percent this year as investors seek a haven amid Trump’s recent public disagreements with countries including Germany, Japan, Mexico and China. Traders are cautious that Trump’s policies -- aimed at paring regulation, cutting taxes and keeping jobs within the U.S. borders -- may not move forward as quickly as anticipated.
Uncertainty about economic policy and the pace of rate increases “may help spur purchases of the metal as a short-term safe haven by central banks and investors,” Eily Ong, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, wrote in a research note.
Holdings in SPDR Gold Shares, the largest exchange-traded fund backed by bullion, rose for three straight days through Friday, the longest stretch of gains since October.
The net-long position, or wagers on a rally, in gold gained 21 percent to 72,067 futures and options for the week ended Jan. 31, according to U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released three days later. That’s the highest level since Dec. 6.
In other metals:
- Silver futures rose for a second session on the Comex and closed at the highest since Nov. 10.
- Platinum futures closed at the highest since September on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while palladium climbed at the highest since Jan. 24.