Gold firmed for a ninth consecutive session Wednesday, trading at its highest since the middle of September, as haven demand for the precious metal supported prices even as a bruised dollar stabilized.
the most-active contract on Comex, rose $1.40, or 0.1%, to $1,317.50 an ounce. It settled Tuesday at $1,316.10 an ounce. That was the highest most-active futures contract settlement since Sept. 20, according to FactSet data. Gold futures had recorded a 2017 gain of about 14%.
Gains had not yet extended to the ETF market. The gold-focused exchange-traded SPDR Gold Trust
slipped 0.3% premarket after rising 1.2% on Tuesday and roughly 13% during 2017, while the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF
was down 0.6% after rising 2.45% on Tuesday and 11.5% in 2017.
Gold looks “to stay supported following a much-needed correction. Dollar weakness and raised inflation expectations following the December U.S. rate hike and tax deal have supported the best run higher in gold since 2011,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank, in a commentary.
Geopolitical uncertainty has helped to prop up gold prices. In Iran, antigovernment demonstrators have taken to the streets in cities across the country over the past week to express anger over the country’s economic woes. Progovernment demonstrations picked up on Wednesday.
The protests, which have left more than 20 people dead, boost the appeal of gold as a haven asset. They’ve also reignited a geopolitical risk premium in oil markets
amid concerns the civil unrest could result in crude supply disruptions.
“At the beginning of 2018 we see no reason why this underlying [gold] demand should not continue,” said Hansen. “The dollar could face further weakness, stocks are elevated and bond yields
are low and with that comes the risk of corrections. One of gold’s best friends — Donald Trump — continues to preside over an unpredictable U.S. administration while emerging inflation is likely to add an additional layer of support.”
Financial markets were looking ahead to the release of the minutes from the Dec. 12-13 Federal Open Market Committee meeting due at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. Investors are looking for hints on how many times the central bank will raise interest rates in 2018. According to the CME Group’s data, the market is currently pricing in the next rate rise in March.
Expectations of higher U.S. interest rates later this year and the passage of the Republican tax bill have failed to give the dollar a lift, helping gold, in part because traders wonder how much the tax reforms will actually boost the economy. A weaker dollar tends to provide a boost to dollar-pegged commodities, including gold, making them more attractive to users of weaker monetary units.
Meanwhile, March copper
lost 0.7% to $3.254 a pound. Copper ended with a gain of more than 30% gain for 2017.
fell 0.3% to $17.155 an ounce. Silver futures gained about 7% in 2017.
slipped 0.7% to $1,079.55 an ounce. For 2017, palladium futures rose more than 50%. April platinum
added 0.4% to $951.40 an ounce. Platinum futures ended up more than 3% in 2017.