Gold futures rose Tuesday, extending their gains to a third session, after seeing a two-month low last week.
A slight retrenchment in equities Tuesday and a retreat in the U.S. dollar, along with steadiness in yields for U.S. Treasuries were giving gold bullion a nudge higher, commodity experts said.
“Gold and silver futures prices are trading firmer in early U.S. dealings Tuesday, as a weaker U.S. dollar index and a pause in the U.S. stock market rally are giving the metals bulls some strength,” wrote Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco.com, in a daily research note.
Some dealers speculated that a recent rise in bitcoin, reignited by an announcement by electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc. that it had purchased $1.5 billion of the cryptocurrency, also was putting pressure on the U.S. currency and thereby buttressing gold.
Bitcoins on Tuesday hit a record around $48,000 and were recently changing hands above $45,000 for a gain of 20% on the week thus far.
Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar was down 0.4% on Tuesday and has declined by about 0.5% so far this week, gauged by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index.
A weaker dollar can make assets priced in the currency comparatively more expensive to overseas buyers.
“More and more it appears that Bitcoin is gaining credibility among the veteran market watchers that may have been early naysayers to the cryptocurrency asset class,” Wyckoff said.
“It appears that safe-haven gold and silver may be gaining some buying interest from the Bitcoin surge this week, possibly due to notions the growing move by investors into Bitcoin as an asset class will take away some of the allure of the U.S. dollar being what many consider the ultimate safe-haven asset,” the analyst said.
Against that backdrop, gold for April delivery was adding $8, or 0.4%, to trade at $1,842.20 an ounce early Tuesday, following a 1.2% gain on Monday. Prices climbed on Friday, after dropping more than 2% Thursday to its lowest finish since late November.
March silver meanwhile, was trading near unchanged, less than 0.1% higher, at $27.59 an ounce, after it rose 2.1% in the prior session.