Gold set for best month since June

(iStock)
(iStock)

Singapore - Gold climbed back above $1 200 and headed for its best month since June as jitters over Donald Trump’s actions since he took office as US president just over a week ago sent investors scurrying for a haven.

Bullion has risen almost 5% in January, partly recouping a 13% loss in the fourth quarter, when prospects for tax cuts and infrastructure spending sent equity markets to records. Trump’s decision on Monday to fire Acting Attorney General Sally Yates after she refused to uphold his executive order banning some immigrant travel only served to further unsettle investors.

In his first week in office, Trump withdrew from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership that former President Barack Obama had spent years negotiating, and said he’d make good on a campaign promise to build a wall on the Mexican border, sending bilateral relations to the worst in years. Rising bond yields and the odds of further Federal Reserve interest-rate hikes have curbed gold’s rise.

“In the near term, the safe-haven buying definitely looks to be lending support,” Gnanasekar Thiagarajan, a director at Mumbai-based Commtrendz Risk Management Services, said by phone. “The overall picture still kind of remains weak because of the possibility of rate hikes; that’s the only thing which capped the upside for gold.”

Bullion for immediate delivery added as much as 0.6% to $1 203.15 an ounce on Tuesday and traded at $1 201.24 by 07:50, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. 

Yates’s dismissal adds to investor concerns sparked by Trump’s ban on US entry for passport holders from a number of Muslim-majority nations.

Along with his protectionist moves on trade, the news has raised the risk of foreign investors diminishing their appetite for American assets. That’s hit the dollar, which is down 2.1% this month, the most since March.

Market volatility will continue with a two-day meeting of the Federal Reserve ending on Wednesday and US non-farm payrolls data for January on Friday, Gnanasekar said. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the greenback against 10 peers, fell 0.2% on Tuesday, while share markets declined.

Other precious metals: 

Spot silver climbed 0.4% to $17.1986 an ounce. Palladium rose 0.9%, while platinum added 0.3%.

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