Gold futures made modest moves on Thursday, with bullion holding near its lowest in nearly nine months, amid a weekly rise in the U.S. dollar and U.S. Treasury yields holding near their highest levels in a about a year.
The precious metal is “having a terrible year, down almost 10%, and still looking very vulnerable,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a market update.
“Gold bulls are getting dizzy as they look over a cliff of price action that could see another $100 of weakness,” he said. “If the bond market continues to ignore the [Federal Reserve], gold could be in for a few rough weeks. The Fed should save the day for gold bulls, but nervousness remains elevated.”
Investors await comments from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell who will speak at The Wall Street Journal Jobs Summit at 12 noon Eastern time.
Gold for April delivery on Comex was up 90 cents, or less than 0.1%, at $1,716.80 an ounce, after shedding 1% on Wednesday and touching an intraday low at $1,699.40. Gold prices are hovering around the lowest for a most-active contract since June 8, FactSet data show.
“Gold is still suffering against the strength of the greenback with the price unable to rebound,” wrote Carlo Alberto De Casa, chief analyst at ActivTrades, in a daily research note.
The U.S. dollar, as gauged by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index was up 0.2% on Thursday and headed for a weekly climb of 0.3%, while gold was heading for a weekly slide of 0.7% based on the most-active contract. Meanwhile, the 10-year Treasury note was yielding 1.47%.
A rising dollar and strength in yields can make gold less attractive to buyers seeking safe-haven investments.
Commodity dealers also were digesting economic reports with the number of new applications for U.S. unemployment benefits rising slightly to 745,000 for the week of Feb. 27, signaling the economy is still a long way from recovering all the jobs lost during the coronavirus pandemic.
The monthly U.S. jobs report will be released by the U.S. Labor Department on Friday.
Among other metals Thursday, May copper shed 2.4% to $4.043 a pound. April platinum lost 0.4% to $1,176.40 an ounce, but June palladium traded at $2,363 an ounce, up 0.4%.