Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Gold fell to its weakest in 2-1/2 months on Tuesday, breaking through key support at August lows as stock markets steadied and the dollar hit a one-year high against the euro ahead of a European Central Bank meeting this week.
The metal has been underpinned by worries about the stand-off between Russia and the West over Ukraine and unrest in the Middle East, but strength in stocks and the dollar, plus weak physical demand from China and India, has offset that.
"It's when the dollar hits big numbers that gold gets punished and this is clearly one of those moments," Ross Norman, CEO of bullion broker Sharps Pixley, said.
"There is a lot to be concerned about on the political and economic front (but) people tend to get inured to the idea of bad news and it doesn't affect them anymore."
Spot gold was down 1.4 percent at $1,268.83 an ounce at 1311 GMT, having hit its lowest since mid-June at $1,265.10. U.S. gold futures for December delivery were down $17.60 at $1,269.70.
Selling picked up after the metal broke through support at $1,273.06 an ounce, its Aug. 21 lows.
European shares were little changed on Tuesday as investors await the ECB's policy decision later this week before chasing stocks higher.
Stock markets have rallied recently following dovish comments by ECB President Mario Draghi, which sparked bets that the central bank is preparing to pump more liquidity into the system, possibly via purchases of government or corporate bonds, a measure known as quantitative easing.
Those expectations weighed on the euro, however, pushing it to a one-year low against the dollar, which also hit its highest since January against the yen. Gold tends to move in the opposite direction to the dollar, in which it is priced.
Traders are now awaiting the Institute for Supply Management's report on U.S. manufacturing due later in the day for clues on whether the United States is ready to phase out quantitative easing just as the ECB considers adopting it.
Among other precious metals, spot platinum was down 0.6 percent at $1,408.74 an ounce, while spot silver lost 1.3 percent to $19.20 an ounce, having touched its lowest since June 11 at $19.11.
Spot palladium was down 2 percent at $885.00 an ounce, after hitting a 13-1/2-year peak the previous day on concerns that unrest in Ukraine could affect supply from top producer Russia.
European Union governments will decide on new sanctions against Russia by Friday, Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini told the European Parliament.
"While there haven't been any metal-related restrictions just yet, disruptions in Russian supply could have a significant impact on the global availability of palladium," ANZ said in a note.
Palladium prices hit their highest compared to platinum since mid-2002 this week, with an ounce of platinum worth 1.57 ounces of palladium. They were at their highest compared to gold in a decade.
That's all for now.