Metals Stocks: Gold prices end lower, give back nearly half of their recent rally

Gold futures pulled back Tuesday to settle lower, unable to extend a Monday move that marked the biggest single-day gain for bullion since Sept. 25.

Strength in the U.S. dollar dulled demand for precious metals, which had been swept up in Monday’s gains across the commodity complex, as a surge in prices of crude oil offered some signs of a potential increase in inflation, bullish for precious metals’ prices. Oil bulls caught their breath, with prices easing Tuesday from roughly two-year highs carved out on Monday following a string of high-profile arrests in Saudi Arabia.

December gold
GCZ7, -0.43%
fell $5.80, or 0.5%, to settle at $1,275.80 an ounce after climbing by 1% a day earlier. The exchange-traded SPDR Gold Trust
GLD, -0.40%
fell 0.4%.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index
DXY, +0.21%
which measures the buck against a half-dozen rivals, was up 0.2% at 94.982 after touching a recent peak of 95.149, its highest since mid-July. The index and gold typically move inversely, as a firmer dollar makes gold less attractive to investors using another currency.

“Gold is actually showing some resiliency here, holding to its recent range in the face of new 15-week highs in the dollar index,” said Peter Grant, chief market analyst with gold broker USAGOLD.

The dollar’s strength, however, is “limiting the upside for gold, amid persistent expectations of further monetary policy divergence,” he said. “The market still expects the Fed to hike in December, while most of the other central banks are maintaining dovish tones.”

Gold also slipped as Treasury yields
TMUBMUSD10Y, -0.39%
mostly stabilized after their drop to start the week, driven lower in part as President Donald Trump’s Asia trip this week, where North Korean tensions will feature, leaves some uncertainty hanging over financial markets. Trump flew into South Korea on Tuesday, the closest he has come to the so-called front lines of the nuclear standoff with Pyongyang.

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“Focus of the markets is on developments in Saudi Arabia and Trump’s Asian visit,” said Chintan Karnani, chief market analyst at Insignia Consultants. “Solutions to North Korea will be closely watched. Any hints of a peaceful solution of North Korea can result in more losses for gold.”

In other metals, silver for December delivery
SIZ7, -1.71%
dropped 29.5 cents, or 1.7%, to $16.94 an ounce. The contract’s 2.4% single-day move on Monday was its best since Nov. 1 when it jumped 2.9%. The exchange-traded iShares Silver Trust
SLV, -1.66%
was down 1.6%.

“Not only was silver pulled up by gold yesterday, its gains were also twice as pronounced,” Commerzbank commodities analysts led by Carsten Fritsch said in a note. Silver is only just below the 200-day moving average, he said. “Any rise above this mark could spark technical follow-up buying and lend further buoyancy to the silver price,” he said. Technical strategists follow moving averages to help determine the short- and long-term momentum in an asset.

Elsewhere, December copper
HGZ7, -2.12%
gave up 6.9 cents, or 2.2%, to $3.089 a pound. January platinum
PLF8, -1.17%
fell $9.70, or 1%, to $925.30 an ounce, while December palladium
PAZ7, -0.35%
lost $1, or 0.1%, to $994.10 an ounce.

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