November 18, 2016
Gold Set For Second Weekly Loss as Dollar Soars
(Reuters) - Gold dropped to its lowest in 5-1/2 months on Friday and was set for a second weekly decline, dragged down as the U.S. dollar soared after comments from the Federal Reserve bolstered expectations U.S. interest rates would rise next month.
Spot gold had fallen 0.6 percent to $1,208.56 an ounce by 0225 GMT, after marking its lowest since May 30 at $1,204.99 earlier in the session.
U.S. gold futures earlier dropped nearly 1 percent to $1205.0 an ounce.
The dollar index hit its highest since April 2003 and was set for its biggest weekly gain in a year after Fed Chair Janet Yellen provided a strong signal that U.S. interest rates would likely increase by year-end.
"Yellen's comments and a stronger dollar have pulled down the entire precious metals complex. Gold will be on a downtrend for now," said Brian Lan, managing director at Singapore-based gold dealer GoldSilver Central.
"People are speculating that Trump's policies will improve companies and equity markets, and lots of them are going to stocks and currencies. Gold has lost a bit of its safe-haven asset status."
The election of Donald Trump as U.S. president has done nothing to change the Fed's plans for a rate increase "relatively soon", Yellen said on Thursday in Congressional testimony.
Gold is highly sensitive to interest rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.
Spot gold may drop towards $1,172 per ounce, as it has broken support at $1,210, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
But Macquarie analyst Matthew Turner said in a note that it was not certain that Trump's economic policy would be "gold negative".
SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.61 percent to 920.63 tonnes on Thursday from 926.26 tonnes on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, silver was down 0.53 percent at $16.57 an ounce and platinum fell 1 percent to $921.49. Both metals were set for a second consecutive weekly decline.
Palladium fell nearly 2 percent to $712.97 an ounce, but was set to post a third weekly rise.