Metals Stocks: Gold prices log back-to-back losses, hold below $1,800 an ounce


Gold prices softened for a second day on Tuesday, with the most-active futures contract for the yellow metal trading at its lowest levels in more than a week, as the U.S. dollar held onto the bulk of its recent gains.

Price action

December gold futures

were down $6.50, or 0.4%, to $1,791.60 per ounce on Comex after losing 1% on Monday.

September silver

fell 16.7 cents, or 0.8%, to $20.105 per ounce.

Palladium prices

for September delivery retreated $12.80, or 0.6%, to $2,145.50 per ounce, while platinum prices

tacked on $3.40, or 0.4%, to $937 per ounce.

Copper for

September delivery was little changed at $3.618 per pound. Prices fell Monday amid a broad-based selloff in industrial metals and oil.

What analysts are saying

Gold prices have softened early this week as the yellow metal retreated below the key $1,800 per ounce level, leaving it on track to snap its longest streak of weekly gains since December.

“The fact that gold isn’t shedding too much of its recent gains could be a positive sign over the medium term, although it would have to overcome what has become a strong barrier of resistance this past week,” said Craig Erlam, senior market strategist at OANDA.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index
a gauge of the dollar’s strength against a basket of rivals, was down nearly 0.2%, but still up 0.7% for the week so far, while the 10-year Treasury yield

gained six basis points to 2.852%.

U.S. interest-rate hike expectations for September have swung in favor of a “less aggressive” 50 basis point hike, but I’m not convinced that will cap the dollar, particularly if the greenback garners additional safe-haven interest,” said Peter Grant, vice president and the senior metals strategist at Zaner Metals LLC and Tornado Precious Metals Solutions, in a late Monday newsletter.

“This is where any disbelief that we are already in recession could get the Fed in trouble,” he said. “We’ll get to see the minutes of the July [Federal Reserve] meeting on Wednesday.”

Still, data released Tuesday from the Federal Reserve was somewhat upbeat. U.S. industrial production rose 0.6% in July, with the gain coming in above Wall Street expectations for a 0.3% increase, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal.

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