Gold rose for the first time in three days in New York as investors weighed the standoff over Ukraine against a stronger dollar. Palladium was near a 13-year high.
Gold rose 8.4% this year partly as unrest helped fuel demand. Ukrainian government forces took control of one of four districts in the pro-Russian separatist stronghold of Luhansk, as the Red Cross said it’s working toward agreement on details of a safe-passage plan for a Russian aid convoy. Talks on a halt to the fighting stalled yesterday. Israel and Palestinian militants agreed to extend their five-day truce for 24 hours in another attempt to reach a long-term accord.
The dollar was near a nine-month high versus the euro amid signs of economic recovery that support the case for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates. The Fed releases minutes of its July 29-30 policy meeting tomorrow and Chair Janet Yellen is due to deliver a speech on Aug. 22 at an annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Prospects for higher borrowing costs may support the greenback, and gold usually moves inversely to the currency.
“With geopolitical headwinds not escalating, with the dollar looking strong and with physical buying lacking, we feel that gold will face strong headwinds in sustaining gains in the near term,” Abhishek Chinchalkar, an analyst at Mumbai-based AnandRathi Commodities Ltd., said in a report today. “Later this week, the focus will turn toward the release of the FOMC minutes and Fed Chair Yellen’s testimony.”
Gold for December delivery added 0.3% to $1,302.80 an ounce by 7:37 a.m. on the Comex in New York. It reached $1,293 on Aug. 15, the lowest since Aug. 6. Bullion for immediate delivery rose 0.3% to $1,301.98 in London, according to Bloomberg generic pricing.
Futures trading volume was 52% below the average for the past 100 days for this time of day, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Silver for September delivery added 0.3% to $19.695 an ounce in New York, after reaching a two-month low of $19.47 yesterday. Platinum for October delivery rose 0.2% to $1,449.20 an ounce. Palladium for September delivery increased 0.2% to $896.35 an ounce. It touched $902.75 yesterday, the highest since February 2001.
The metal, mostly used in catalytic converters in vehicles, advanced 25% this year as car companies used more and as supply was cut by a mine strike that ended in June in South Africa, the second-biggest producer. Prices also rose as the U.S. and European Union imposed sanctions on Russia, which retaliated by banning imports of some products from the EU, U.S., Norway and Canada. There have been no palladium sanctions.
“Mine supply tightness and ongoing strength of the automotive sector, which makes up the largest category for platinum-group metals demand, leaves us bullish on the PGMs,” James Steel, an analyst at HSBC Securities (USA) Inc., said in a note. There is also “investor awareness of the Eastern European tensions,” he said.
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