Friday, August 29, 2014
Gold eased on Friday, paring its narrow gains for the month, as European shares recovered some of the previous day's declines and demand for physical metal waned on this week's pick-up in bullion prices.
Investors remain on edge over tensions between Russia and Ukraine after Ukraine said on Thursday that Russia had moved troops into the country. However, the impact of the escalating conflict has not been enough to sustain gold price increases.
Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,286.04 an ounce at 1147 GMT, while U.S. gold futures for December delivery were down $3.30 an ounce at $1,287.10.
"Looking at Treasuries, worries about Ukraine are delivering some kind of support. However, I don't think that is strong enough to trigger a more sustainable move into safe havens," Heraeus precious metals trader Alexander Zumpfe said. "Market expectation of higher U.S. interest rates is currently outweighing that safe-haven move."
Prices are up 0.4 percent this week after falling to a two-month low at $1,273.06 last week.
"Physical demand was stronger over the ... couple of days when it traded below $1,280, but slowed down after strengthening to the mid-$1,290s," Zumpfe added. "Overall, the physical side is so far not delivering convincing support."
European shares rose 0.2 percent, recovering some of the previous session's losses, though they pared early gains after euro zone inflation data cooled expectations of monetary stimulus from the European Central Bank.
Stock markets around the world fell on Thursday after Ukraine said Russia had moved troops into the country, deepening the regional crisis. Nervous investors shifted money into gold and U.S. and German government bonds.
A failure to build on those gains means that gold is set to end August little changed after spot prices traded in a range of less than $50 this month, its narrowest spread in five years.
BUYING INTEREST SUBSIDES
The physical market in Asia saw purchases from jewellery makers this week, but buying interest began to subside as prices improved slightly.
Premiums to spot London prices for gold bars in Hong Kong stood at 80 cents to $1.10, and at 80 cents to $1.00 in Singapore. In Tokyo, gold bars were on par with London prices.
"It's the summer season and it's normally very quiet. Dollar-priced gold is also increasing. I can't see buying or selling at the moment," said a physical dealer in Tokyo.
Net gold flows into China from Hong Kong dropped to 22.107 tonnes in July versus 40.543 tonnes in June, the lowest in three years, data showed on Monday.
"Downside risk remains for gold over the next few months as Chinese physical demand remains on the sidelines," ANZ said in a report.
"As demand from China remains lacklustre, a further move lower in prices will be required to stoke interest from the key consumer. We expect China to import, through Hong Kong, 750-800 tonnes of gold in 2014, down from 1,158 tonnes last year."
Silver was down 0.2 percent at $19.51 an ounce, while spot platinum edged 0.2 percent lower to $1,415.60 an ounce and spot palladium dipped by 0.2 percent to $891.10 an ounce.
That's all for now.