Gold futures posted modest gains on Tuesday as continued delays to an expected Federal Reserve interest-rate increase, as well as concerns over the outlook for U.S. stock market in the midst of earnings season, helped position prices for a third-session gain in a row.
tacked on $1, or 0.1%, to trade at $1,165.50 an ounce on Comex, reversing from earlier losses that took prices under $1,152. Prices on Monday had seen their highest settlement since July 6.
“Gold is continuing to benefit from the weakness in U.S. dollar and safe-haven buying due to growing uncertainty about the direction of the stock markets,” said Fawad Razaqzada, analyst at Forex.com, told MarketWatch.
“The U.S. earnings season is about to kick into a higher gear this week with lots of banks reporting their quarterly results,” he said. “The fear is that companies may disappoint the already-low expectations, while concerns over the health of Chinese economy may also undermine risk appetite.”
On a technical level, gold has also “caught the attention of momentum speculative buyers after the precious metal broke above a key resistance level and downward-sloping trend line around $1,140 last week, which is a short-term technical bullish development,” said Razaqzada.
Gold futures have picked up more than $50 over the past two weeks as investors have been emboldened by the view that the Federal Reserve won’t raise benchmark interest rates soon.
Low rates can make gold, which isn’t an interest-bearing asset, more appealing. In addition, a weaker dollar can boost buying of dollar-denominated assets like gold.
“Gold tends to gain when central bankers lose credibility, and Fed members are now pretty much arguing in public over ‘lift off’ before year’s end,” said Adrian Ash, head of research at BullionVault.
In other metals, December silver
added 10.1 cents, or 0.6%, to trade at $15.965 an ounce, while high-grade copper for the same month
lost 1.1 cents, or 0.4%, to $2.405 a pound.