April 23, 2019
Gold steadies as strong equities counter support from U.S. and Iran jitters
(Reuters) - Gold prices steadied on Tuesday as strong equities provided a risk-conducive backdrop for
investors, countering support from geopolitical concerns as Washington ends sanctions waivers on Iranian oil.
Spot gold was nearly unchanged at $1,275.10 per ounce as of 0319 GMT. U.S. gold futures were also steady at $1,277.20 an ounce.
"Gold is currently trying to find a short-term bottom around $1,274-1,275 an ounce level, especially as equity markets continue to rally," said Margaret Yang, an analyst with CMC Markets in Singapore.
Asian shares hover near a nine-month peak touched last week while stocks on Wall Street were near break-even on Monday as the benchmark S&P 500 index was about 1 percent away from the record high hit in September.
Strong equities of late have wiped off much of gold's appeal, with the metal now more than 5 percent below its 2019 peak touched in February.
Better-than-expected economic readings from both the United States and China have also assuaged most concerns of a steep global economic slowdown amongst market participants.
Augmented geopolitical tensions between the United States and Iran, with the former terminating all Iranian sanction waivers on Monday, prompted oil prices higher and also supported prices for the metal, Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst with OANDA, said.
"However, this is not enough to change the general sentiment surrounding gold. It just seems to be marking time, before other factors like a stronger dollar or equities exert downward pressure on the market," Halley added.
The dollar index was also near a 2019 high of 97.71, struck in early March.
An upbeat risk sentiment was also reflected in the data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which showed that hedge funds and money managers switched to a net short position
in COMEX gold in the week to April 16.
Markets now eye the release of the U.S. GDP data later in the week, which will provide clear indications about the strength of the world's largest economy.
Elsewhere, silver rose 0.2 percent to $15.01 per ounce.
Platinum gained 0.4 percent to $899.08 per ounce and palladium was 0.2 percent higher at $1,388.55 per ounce, having shed over three percent to $1,373 in the previous session.