Why the Stock Wobble Isn’t Helping Gold

Updated on
  • Bullion drops to lowest in four months having fallen all week
  • Monetary policy outweighs crises in North Korea and Israel

AB's Zlotnikov Sees Markets as 'Fairly Complacent'

Falling stock prices and geopolitical risks haven’t done much to support gold amid expectations of tighter U.S. monetary policy.

Metal for immediate delivery fell to the lowest in more than four months at $1,244.02 an ounce at 3:29 p.m. in New York, having dropped every day this week as traders factor in an increase in U.S. interest rates this month as a near certainty. Prices declined despite growing volatility in equity markets, with the S&P 500 Index losing ground in four of the last five sessions.

“The rate hike is now looming and people are suddenly realizing that gold may not be the most attractive long position at the moment,” said David Govett, head of precious metals trading at Marex Spectron in London.

Bullion is still heading for the first back-to-back annual advances since 2012, but traders recently have dented those gains. Higher rates and a change in leadership at the Federal Reserve have outweighed deepening geopolitical risks, including the threat of war on the Korean peninsula and a third intifada in Israel. On the Comex in New York, gold futures for February delivery settled 1 percent lower at $1,253.10 an ounce.

“People’s memories are short and their pockets not so deep,” Govett said.

Other precious metals:

  • Silver for immediate delivery tumbled 1.4 percent to $15.7365 an ounce at 3:50 p.m.
  • Platinum fell 0.8 percent to $894.39 an ounce.
  • Palladium traded 1.8 percent higher at $1,015.05 an ounce.

— With assistance by Luzi-Ann Javier

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