Gold was pinned at near a nine-month low on Monday as bets for aggressive interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve and the dollar’s ascent dimmed appeal for bullion.
Spot gold fell 0.3% to $1,737.32 per ounce. U.S. gold futures dipped 0.3% to $1,737.00.
Despite recession risks, lately investors have opted for dollar over gold, pushing the currency to a near-two decade peak, also eroding appeal for bullion among overseas buyers.
Interest rate hikes, meanwhile, raise the opportunity cost of holding bullion since it pays no interest.
“Gold is under pressure as the dollar is making major runs and there is expectations of a fairly large interest increase after the (recent U.S.) federal report highlighted a strong labour market,” Edward Moya, senior analyst with OANDA, said.
“Gold prices could tentatively breach below the $1,700 level and then see strong support around $1,670.”
U.S. data on Friday showed labor market powered ahead with strong job gains, giving the Fed ammunition to deliver another 75-basis-point rate hike this month.
Meanwhile, Fed’s Esther George, a dissenter at the central bank’s 75 bps increase last month, said abrupt changes in rates “could create strains” in economy.
But growing pessimism over the state of some economies in Asia, and geopolitical instability to some extent, are limiting gold’s losses, as bullion remains the go-to safe haven during times of trouble, said Ricardo Evangelista, senior analyst at ActivTrades.
Spot silver fell 0.7% to $19.17 per ounce.
Despite the fall in silver prices, the retail cost of American Silver Eagle coins stayed high at around $35/ounce, a premium of about 80% on the spot price, which appears to be high enough to impact demand, Heraeus Precious Metals wrote in a note.
Platinum dropped 2.6% to $874.1 and palladium was up 0.5% at $2,193.42.