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Gold off seven-month low as dollar weakness outweighs firmer yields

Mon Feb 22 2021


Gold prices gained on Monday after hitting a more than seven-month low in the previous session, as support from a weaker dollar eclipsed pressure from firmer Treasury yields.


Spot gold rose 0.5% to $1,791.50 per ounce by 0733 GMT, having touched its lowest since July 2 at $1,759.29 on Friday. U.S. gold futures gained 0.6% to $1,787.70.


"The dollar coming off is helping to negate the rise in yields," Howie Lee, an economist at OCBC Bank said, adding "gold is in a weird place... while there's clearly a need for inflation hedging, firming risk sentiment has pressured gold".


The dollar was sold to multi-year lows against sterling and rival currencies on Monday, but benchmark U.S. Treasury yields hit a near one-year high, increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.


Apart from the $1.9 trillion U.S. COVID-19 aid that is expected to pass by the end of the week, investors await Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's testimony on the Semiannual Monetary Report to Congress starting Tuesday.


"The rise in yields will be the major headwind for gold for now, but if Powell hints at any dovishness or implies that current yields are too high for sustained economic recovery... then we can see gold embark on a rally again," Lee said.


Meanwhile, Bitcoin hit a record high on Sunday.


"The recovery by gold remains unconvincing and its technical picture remains grim. For now, the crypto market appears to have temporarily taken over the mantle of inflation hedge," OANDA senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley said in a note.


A lower dollar can help stabilize gold prices at this stage but not turn the overall direction, Halley added.


Silver gained 0.6% to $27.38 an ounce, while platinum rose 0.2% to $1,276.92.


Palladium climbed 1% to $2,403.08, having earlier hit an over one-month high at $2,431.50.


Source: Reuters