Gold prices gain as dollar eases against yen

Bengaluru, Karnataka, IndiaUpdated: Aug 02, 2018, 09:32 AM IST
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Representative image. Photograph:(Reuters)

Gold prices rose on Thursday, recovering from the previous session's fall, as the US dollar edged lower against the Japanese yen.

Spot gold was up 0.3 per cent at $1,218.86 an ounce at 0300 GMT, after losing 0.65 per cent in the previous session.

US gold futures were nearly unchanged at $1,227.30 an ounce.

"I think people are just watching the dollar. The dollar-yen is down and gold is up," said Yuichi Ikemizu, Tokyo branch manager, ICBC Standard Bank said, adding that the latest headlines on the trade war front between the United States and China had likely induced some buying.

The dollar was down 0.1 per cent at 111.62 yen early Thursday. The greenback was, however, supported against major peers after the Federal Reserve kept interest rates steady and gave an upbeat assessment of the world's biggest economy, keeping it on course to increase borrowing costs in September.

A weaker dollar makes greenback-denominated gold cheaper for holders of other currencies while higher interest rates typically pressure gold by increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

"The FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) didn't bring anything much and it's earnings season, so I don't expect gold to move out of a range," Ikemizu said.

Spot gold remains neutral in a range of $1,214-$1,226 per ounce, Reuters technicals analyst Wang Tao said.

Asian stocks fell with sentiment fragile after the latest escalation in Sino-US trade war, while global bond markets were rattled by Washington's increased borrowing and Japan's new tolerance for higher yields.

US President Donald Trump sought to ratchet up pressure on China for trade concessions by proposing a higher 25 per cent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, his administration said on Wednesday.

Elsewhere, the Bank of England looks set to raise interest rates on Thursday to their highest level since the financial crisis almost a decade ago, defying warnings that it is taking a gamble ahead of Brexit, the terms of which remain unclear.

Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.40 per cent to 796.96 tonnes on Wednesday.

Among other precious metals, silver was up 0.3 per cent at $15.39 an ounce. Platinum climbed 0.6 per cent to $816.49 and palladium was 0.2 per cent higher at $915.65.