Gold prices edge up after hitting fresh 2018 low

BENGALURU: Gold prices recovered slightly early on Wednesday, after sliding to the lowest level this year in the previous session on surging US bond yields and a stronger dollar.

Spot gold rose 0.2 per cent to $ 1,292.73 per ounce at 0048 GMT, after shedding 1.7 per cent and marking the lowest this year at $ 1,288.31 in the previous session.

This was also the lowest price level for the yellow metal since Dec. 28.

US gold futures for June delivery were up 0.1 per cent at $ 1,292.10 per ounce.

The dollar hovered near a five-month high against a group of major currencies on Wednesday, as a surge in the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield above 3 per cent reignited a rally that had lost steam last week.

The yield on the benchmark US 10-year Treasury note hit its highest in about seven years on Tuesday on the heels of a report that indicated a pick-up in consumer spending, lifting the dollar to its strongest level this year.

US retail sales increased marginally in April as rising gasoline prices cut into discretionary spending, but consumer spending appeared on track to accelerate after slowing sharply in the first quarter. ]

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s top deputies are edging toward a clash that could shape the pace of interest-rate hikes in coming months, as well as how the Fed should prepare for and combat the next economic downturn.

Bank of England Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent said in an interview on Tuesday with the Telegraph that the central bank will not “spoon feed” markets with meeting-by-meeting interest rate hikes.

The United States is seeking to make a trade deal with China, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Tuesday.

North Korea on Wednesday threw into question an unprecedented summit between its leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump scheduled for next month, denouncing military exercises between South Korea and the United States as a provocation and calling off high-level talks with Seoul.

Palestinians buried the dead on Tuesday from the bloodiest day in Gaza in years, after Israeli forces killed 60 Palestinians near the Gaza-Israel border during demonstrations against the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem.

European powers vowed to keep the 2015 nuclear deal alive without the United States by trying to keep Iran’s oil and investment flowing, but admitted they would struggle to provide the guarantees Tehran seeks.

The London Bullion Market Association said on Tuesday it had suspended the Ekaterinburg Non-Ferrous Metals Processing Plant from its gold and silver good delivery lists due to “ownership related issues”.