Gold prices hit six-year high on softer dollar; US-Iran friction drives investors towards safe-haven bullion

Gold prices climbed more than 1 percent on Tuesday to their highest in six years as the dollar weakened on prospects of monetary easing by the Federal Reserve, while simmering U.S.-Iran tensions drove investors towards the safe-haven bullion.

Spot gold was up 1.2 percent at $1,435.45 per ounce, as of 0438 GMT. Earlier in the session, the yellow metal touched $1,438.63, its highest since 14 May, 2013.

The bullion is headed for a sixth consecutive session of gains.

U.S. gold futures jumped 1.6 percent to $1,440.20 an ounce

Bets for lower interest rates, weaker U.S. dollar and tensions in the Middle East are providing an ideal environment for gains in the gold prices, said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist, CMC Markets.

 Gold prices hit six-year high on softer dollar; US-Iran friction drives investors towards safe-haven bullion

Representational image. Reuters.

U.S. President Donald Trump targeted Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other top Iranian officials with sanctions on Monday to increase pressure on Iran after Tehran’s downing of an unmanned American drone.

The bullion’s lure was further boosted by a weaker dollar, which slipped to a three-month low on Tuesday on bets that the Fed may lower interest rates before year-end on mounting worries about the fallout from tariff wars.

The standoff between Washington and Tehran, a weaker dollar and dovish signals from major central banks stoked a nearly 10 percent surge in gold prices so far this month.

Indicative of sentiment, holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.37 percent on Monday, after posting their biggest percentage gain in nearly 11 years on Friday.

Meanwhile, investors looked to whether Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping would at least call a truce in their trade war when they are expected to meet at the G20 summit in Osaka later this week.

“The main event this week will be the sidebar meeting between Trump and Xi, which could stop the current gold rally with a productive sit-down that ends up in a trade agreement,” Alfonso Esparza, a senior market analyst at OANDA, said in a note.

“The flip side could boost gold prices even further as the Trump administration has shown that it could turn from friendly to aggressive in a heartbeat further fuelling investor’s demand for a safe haven.”

On the technical front, spot gold may test a resistance at $1,439 per ounce, a break above which could lead to a gain to $1,461, according Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Among other precious metals, silver rose 0.3 percent to $15.47 per ounce and platinum gained 0.3 percent to $812.

Palladium climbed 0.2 percent to $1,537.75 an ounce, after hitting its highest since March 27 at $1,545.87.

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Updated Date: Jun 25, 2019 11:59:52 IST