Investing.com — Gold futures ended a notch higher for April, clinching the second straight monthly settlement in the positive as bulls kept the haven not too far from the key $2,000-an-ounce mark on bets that the dollar will fall again soon.
on New York’s Comex settled Friday’s trade up by a dime at $1,999.10. The session high was $2,004. It was the second straight month in the black for the yellow metal and its fifth positive month in six.
The , which reflects physical trades in bullion and is more closely followed than futures by some traders, was down 35 cents to $1,998.65 by 14:30 ET (18:30 GMT).
Both spot gold and Comex’s most-active contract for the yellow metal are down about 2.5% or more from an April 13 peak of around $2,050. The selloff in gold came as the dollar rebounded lately on expectations that the Federal Reserve will embark on a quarter-point rate hike on May 3 when the central bank’s policy makers meet to review the effectiveness of US monetary policy in fighting inflation.
In its battle against inflation, the Fed has added 475 basis points to rates in nine increases since March 2022. Rates now stand at a peak of 5%, compared with just 0.25% at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020. The quarter-point hike on May 3 will bump rates up to a peak of 5.25%. The dollar, a contrarian trade to gold, has been rising on these rate hike expectations.
Gold bulls are, however, banking that the Fed will be done soon with its rate increases, and are keeping gold closer to the $2,000 mark for a run towards a record high should the crumble at that point.
“Wall Street is confident the Fed will raise rates next week, but it seems these latest inflation pressures may not allow them to signal they are ready for a pause,” said Ed Moya, analyst at online trading platform OANDA. “The last few key data points leading up to the Fed could suggest the service sector is still healthy and that manufacturing activity is stabilizing.”
Moya said gold might not benefit too much from safe-haven plays related to the ongoing U.S. banking crisis though it could surge “if the Fed is comfortable enough to signal they are reading to hold rates for a while.”
“Monetary policy is restrictive and as it filters through the system, we will start to see larger parts of the economy enter slowdown mode,” Moya added.
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