July 26, 2019 / 4:53 AM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold gains on rate-cut hopes; focus on U.S. GDP data

(Updates prices)

* SPDR Gold holdings dipped 0.4% on Thursday

* Gold biased to break $1,412/oz, fall to $1,386 - technicals

* Silver, platinum on track for third weekly gain

* Gold down 0.7% so far this week

By Harshith Aranya

July 26 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Friday, moving away from a one-week low touched in the previous session, on expectations of monetary policy easing from leading central banks, while investors awaited U.S. economic growth data due later in the day.

Spot gold was up 0.4% at $1,419.53 per ounce, as of 0743 GMT, after falling to a one-week low of $1,410.77 in the previous session.

However, the metal has lost about 0.4% so far this week, putting it on track for its first weekly decline in three.

U.S. gold futures were up 0.3% at $1,418.80.

“Positive view on gold is driven by expectations of broad monetary easing by key central banks globally, including the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank (ECB),” said Heng Koon How, head of markets strategy at Singapore’s United Overseas Bank.

Market participants are now looking forward to the U.S. central bank’s July 30-31 monetary policy meeting, where it is expected to trim its interest rate by at least 25 basis points.

The ECB left interest rates unchanged at its meeting on Thursday, but its President Mario Draghi signalled that the bank was prepared to cut rates in September.

“ECB is sort of delaying the dovish stance to get the Fed out of the way, they did not want the Fed to steal their thunder,” said Stephen Innes, managing partner, Vanguard Markets.

“Weaker longs in the market will be worried and they better be sellers going into the FOMC meeting, because the market has priced in too dovish of a lead,” he added.

Meanwhile, the dollar index was holding near a two-month high hit in the previous session, making gold expensive for holders of other currencies.

U.S. GDP data, which is due on Friday, is expected to show that U.S. economic growth slowed to 1.8% in the second quarter from 3.1% in the previous quarter.

On the technical front, spot gold is biased to break a support at $1,412 per ounce and fall towards $1,386, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, dropped 0.36% to 819.32 tonnes on Thursday from Wednesday.

Among other precious metals, silver gained 0.3% $16.45 per ounce and was on track for its third straight weekly rise.

Platinum was steady at $864.47 per ounce and was heading for its third consecutive weekly gain.

Palladium edged 0.1% higher to $1,532.50 and the auto-catalyst metal was on course to mark its first weekly gain in three. (Reporting by Harshith Aranya and Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips, Gopakumar Warrier & Uttaresh.V)

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