Gold, other precious metals slump on rallying dollar

Gold prices fell to near a one-month low on Monday amid sharp declines among precious metals due to a stronger dollar as looming Federal Reserve interest rate hikes dented bullion’s appeal.

Extending losses into a sixth straight session, spot gold was down 0.6% to $1,737.92 per ounce by 10:13 a.m. EDT (1413) GMT after hitting its lowest level since July 27 earlier in the session. U.S. gold futures dropped 1% to $1,746.

The dollar hit a fresh five-week high versus major currencies, making greenback-priced gold more expensive for overseas buyers.

Gold is under pressure from the rallying dollar and market expectations that Fed Chair Jerome Powell will reinforce the U.S. central bank’s hawkish stance in a speech at the Jackson Hole central banking conference later this week, said Daniel Ghali, commodity strategist at TD Securities. Prices could dip below $1,700 after Jackson Hole, Ghali added.

Powell will address the annual global central banking conference on Aug. 26. According to economists in a Reuters poll, the Fed is likely to raise its benchmark overnight interest rate by 50 basis points in September amid expectations U.S. inflation has peaked and on growing recession worries.

“Looking at fundamentals, investor interest in the physical metal (gold) is still strong, particularly in Asia, while we have seen an outflow from the ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds),” said Carlo Alberto De Casa, external analyst for Kinesis Money.

According to data on Friday, speculators also cut their net long COMEX gold and net short silver position in the week to Aug. 16. Spot silver fell 0.2% to $19 per ounce after touching its lowest price in four weeks earlier in the session.

“Silver prices have been underperforming in the recent trading sessions, this reflects a slowing industrial demand for silver as well as deteriorating speculative appetite,” Ghali said.

Platinum plunged 2.6% to $872.42 and palladium fell 5.5% to $2,008.45.

(Reporting by Ashitha Shivaprasad in Bengaluru; Editing by Paul Simao)

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