Gold Price Is Getting Crushed as Dollar Reaches New 2018 Highs
Gold’s brisk selloff deepened Thursday, as investors put higher interest rates on the front burner following two days of testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
Gold Price Levels
According to Bloomberg data, the price of gold bottomed at $1,212.70 a troy ounce on Thursday, extending a three-month selloff that has shaved 11% from the yellow metal’s value. Gold peaked slightly above $1,360 in March and April before plunging over the next three months.
Bullion is trading at its lowest level in over a year, with technical charts putting the next major support level around $1,200-$1,202 an ounce.
Silver, which often trades in the direction of gold, was off more than 2% Thursday to a low of $15.19 a troy ounce. The grey metal later recovered around $15.30 but was still down more than 12% from January’s settlement high of $17.61.
Dollar Rally Intensifies
A surging dollar has largely underpinned the massive exodus out of gold over the last three months. The U.S. dollar index (DXY), which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of currencies, has gained nearly 7% compared to three months ago. DXY is up 3.6% for the year, more than offsetting its worst annual start in decades.
On Thursday, the dollar index rose more than half a percent to a high of 95.65, its best level of the year.
The dollar’s strength combined with Brexit woes triggered a fresh slide in the British pound, which fell on Thursday to its lowest since August.
The Canadian dollar declined sharply on tariff fears, sending the USD/CAD currency pair to its highest level of the month.
A stronger U.S. currency makes the purchase of gold and other commodities more costly for international buyers, which reduces their relative demand. On Wall Street, investors have shown a renewed penchant for stocks in anticipation of a strong earnings quarter.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Thursday wrapped up his semiannual testimony before Congress where he fielded questions on the economy, protectionism and cryptocurrency. Although Powell didn’t strike an overly hawkish tone, he left little doubt about the central bank’s plan to raise short-term interest rates.
On Wednesday, Powell told lawmakers they can expect several years of economic growth under the current policy regime.
“With appropriate monetary policy, the job market will remain strong and inflation will stay near 2% over the next several years,” Powell said in prepared remarks.
The central bank “believes that – for now – the best way forward is to keep gradually raising the federal funds rate” in a way that keeps pace with the economic recovery, he added.
Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) members will next meet July 31-Aug. 1 to set short-term interest rates. No change is expected before September.
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