Gold prices slip as surging US Treasury yields lift dollar

BENGALURU: Gold prices edged down on Friday to near their lowest levels this year, pressured by a firm US dollar amid surging US Treasury yields.

Spot gold was down about 0.1 per cent at $ 1,289.35 per ounce at 0657 GMT, after hitting its lowest since Dec. 27 in the previous session at $ 1,285.41.

The metal was heading for its biggest weekly decline since early December.

US gold futures for June delivery were 0.1 per cent lower at $ 1,288.60 per ounce.

The dollar held near a five-month peak against a basket of currencies on Friday thanks to the benchmark US Treasury yield

topping a seven-year high.

“The 10-year US yields put the dollar on a firm foot and put pressure on metals and gold,” said a Hong Kong-based trader, adding that some “risk-on” sentiment in markets today was also adding pressure.

A stronger greenback makes dollar-denominated gold more expensive for users of other currencies, while higher US yields dampen the appeal of non-yielding bullion.

“$ 1,285 has been good support for the past couple of days, so that’s the first support we’ll see if it (spot gold) can hold,” the trader said. He declined to be identified as he was not authorised to speak with media.

Meanwhile, Asian stocks were treading water on Friday as investors kept a cautious watch on developments in US-China trade negotiations.

US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that China had become “very spoiled” on trade with the United States and cast doubt on the success of his efforts to rebalance the relationship with Beijing as high-stakes US-China negotiations opened in Washington.

Trump sought on Thursday to placate North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un after Pyongyang threatened to scrap an unprecedented summit.

“Failure of the US to reach any trade deal with China, as Trump has already indicated that there may not be a favourable outcome, could stimulate some demand for gold,” said Naeem Aslam, chief markets analyst at Think Markets.

Spot gold still targets $ 1,302 per ounce as it has stabilized around a support at $ 1,287, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said.

In other metals, silver was little changed at $ 16.43 an ounce.

Palladium rose 0.1 per cent to $ 979.15, while platinum

was 0.4-per cent lower at $ 885.24 per ounce after hitting a five-month low at $ 879 on Thursday.

However, all three of those metals were heading for weekly losses.