Gold prices fall to 6-week lows, below $1,200 mark-sapforex24

Gold prices fell to six-week lows on Friday, hovering below the psychologically important $1,200 mark as the strength of the U.S. dollar and growing expectations for a U.S. rate hike next week continued to weigh on the precious metal.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for April delivery were down 0.61% at $1,195.65, the lowest since January 31.

The April contract ended Thursday’s session 0.51% lower at $1,203.20 an ounce.

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Futures were likely to find support at $1,187.10, the low of January 30 and resistance at $1,212.20, Wednesday’s high.

The greenback remained broadly supported after U.S. payroll processor ADP reported on Wednesday that the private sector added 298,000 jobs in February, well above forecasts for an increase of 190,000. It was the largest increase in private sector hiring since March 2006.

Investors were looking ahead to Friday’s government employment report for February, where a strong reading would cement expectations for a rate hike from the Fed next week.

Markets seemed to shrug off a report by the U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday showing that initial jobless claims increased by 20,000 to 243,000 last week, compared to expectations for a 12,000 rise.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 101.94, not far from Thursday’s one-week high of 102.25.

A strong U.S. dollar usually weighs on Gold, as it dampens the metal’s appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-priced commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies.

Elsewhere in metals trading, silver futures for May delivery dropped 0.81% to $16.877 a troy ounce, while copper futures for May delivery added 0.12% to $2.583 a pound.

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March rate hike bets push gold to 5-week lows-SapForex24

Gold prices dropped to a five-week low during European morning hours on Wednesday, as traders bet on a strong likelihood the Federal Reserve will raise rates at its upcoming policy meeting next week.

Comex Gold futures touched a session low of $1,212.50 a troy ounce, a level not seen since February 3. It was last at $1,213.15 by 8:10AM ET (13:10GMT), down $2.75, or about 0.2%.

Spot Gold was down $2.40 at $1,213.40 per ounce.
Markets dramatically adjusted expectations for U.S. interest rate hikes this year following hawkish comments from several top Fed officials last week, including Chair Janet Yellen.

Futures traders are pricing in around an 82% chance of a hike at the Fed’s March 14-15 meeting, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

Odds of a second rate hike in September currently stand at about 65%, while a third hike in December is priced in at 53%, aligning market expectations with the Fed’s current forecast for three rate hikes in 2017.

The precious metal is sensitive to moves in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion, while boosting the dollar in which it is priced.

Investors are now awaiting Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report for further clues on the likely pace of hikes this year.

Ahead of the government report, payroll processing firm ADP is set to release data on February private sector payrolls at 8:15AM ET (13:15GMT).

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was slightly higher at 101.87 in New York morning trade. It reached a two-month high of 102.27 last week.

Treasury yields were also up, with the U.S. 10-Year bond at around 2.525%.

Also on the Comex, silver futures for May delivery slipped 8.0 cents, or around 0.5%, to $17.45 a troy ounce.

Meanwhile, platinum was down 0.4% to $957.70, while palladium dipped 0.8% to $768.75 an ounce.

Elsewhere in metals trading, copper futures added 0.2 cents, or less than 0.1%, to $2.621 a pound.

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Forex – Dollar steady amid Fed rate hike optimism- SapForex24

The dollar was steady against a basket of the other major currencies on Tuesday as investors remained confident that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates at next week’s meeting while they awaited Friday’s U.S. jobs report.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was at 101.64 at 08.49 GMT, holding above Monday’s one-week low of 101.22.

A rate hike at the Fed’s March 14-15 meeting is seen as a near certainty after Fed Chair Janet Yellen said last week that a rate hike “would likely be appropriate” this month if employment and inflation continued to evolve in line with expectations.

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Futures traders are pricing in around an 86% chance of a hike at the Fed’s next meeting, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

The dollar was steady against the yen, with USD/JPY at 113.83, after falling to a one-week low of 113.54 on Monday as rising geopolitical tensions in the wake of a North Korean missile test spurred safe haven demand for the Japanese currency.

The euro edged higher, with EUR/USD inching up 0.1% to 1.0591, still shy of Monday’s two-week highs of 1.0639.

Investors were continuing to monitor developments in the French presidential election campaign after scandal-hit Francois Fillon won his party’s backing to be its candidate after former French Prime Minister Alain Juppe ruled himself out of the race.

Outgoing President Francois Hollande was warned that far-right candidate Marine Le Pen could win the election and vowed to “do everything” in his power to stop it happening.

Investors’ fears that a victory for anti-EU Le Pen could potentially trigger a French exit from the euro zone.

The euro showed little reaction to data showing that German factory orders fell at the fastest rate in eight years in January, slumping 7.4%.

Sterling was weaker against the dollar, with GBP/USD down 0.21% to 1.2211.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was higher after the country’s central bank kept interest rates on hold on Tuesday and gave no indications that it is considering further easing.

AUD/USD was up 0.29% to 0.7602 after initially rising as high of 0.7633.

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Gold starts the week higher amid North Korea missile test-SapForex24

Gold prices were higher during European morning hours on Monday, starting the week off with gains as demand for safe-haven assets was boosted amid news of North Korea’s firing of four ballistic missiles.

Comex Gold futures tacked on $6.95, or about 0.6%, to $1,233.45 a troy ounce . The precious metal fell to $1,223.00 on Friday, the lowest since February 15.

Spot gold was down $1.10 to $1,233.40 per ounce.

Market participants kept a wary eye on developments in North Korea, which fired four ballistic missiles early on Monday, three of which landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

gold-news-sapforex24
Gold News-sapforex24

The news bolstered demand for perceived safe-havens such as the yen, U.S. Treasurys and gold.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 101.37 in London morning trade.

It reached a two-month high of 102.27 last week on increasing signs given by Federal Reserve officials that the U.S. central bank is seriously considering raising interest rates this month.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Friday that it “would be appropriate” for the U.S. central bank to raise its benchmark interest rate at its next meeting on March 14-15, should the U.S. economy continue to show robust growth in terms of jobs and inflation.

In the week ahead, global financial markets will focus on the monthly U.S. employment report due Friday, which could seal the deal for a Fed rate hike later this month.

Besides the employment report, this week’s calendar also features U.S. data on factory orders, trade figures, ADP private sector nonfarm payrolls, weekly jobless claims and import prices.

Futures traders are pricing in around an 82% chance of a hike at the Fed’s March 14-15 meeting, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

The precious metal is sensitive to moves in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion, while boosting the dollar in which it is priced.

Also on the Comex, silver futures for May delivery tacked on 12.2 cents, or 0.7%, to $17.86 a troy ounce.

Meanwhile, platinum was down 0.2% to $991.75, while palladium added 0.6% to $775.52 an ounce.
Elsewhere in metals trading, copper futures lost 2.7 cents, or about 1%, to $2.669 a pound after China cut its economic growth forecast to around 6.5% in 2017, compared with last year’s goal of 6.5% to 7%.

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Oil ticks up on weaker dollar, stalled Russian output cuts-SapForex24

Oil markets rose on Friday as the dollar edged away from a multi-week high, but prices are being held in check by unchanged Russian output for February, a sign of its weak compliance on a global deal to cut supplies.

The dollar slipped on Friday from its highest in seven weeks against a basket of currencies, although still holding close to a level that anchors Brent crude near $55 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) just under $53.

Benchmark Brent Crude futures were up 21 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $55.29 a barrel, as of 0755 GMT. It closed down $1.28, or 2.3 percent, in the previous session, and dropped almost 3 percent on the week.

FOREX AND COMEX MARKET HEADLINE-SAPFOREX24
FOREX AND COMEX MARKET HEADLINE-SAPFOREX24

WTI futures gained 16 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $52.77 a barrel after dropping on Thursday to its lowest since Feb. 9. The U.S. benchmark finished in negative territory the past three sessions.

The dollar had climbed on Thursday after hawkish comments by a U.S. Federal Reserve official encouraged investors to expect a near-term interest rate hike.
“Last night’s dollar moves really shook up the markets – we’re seeing it across all markets, not just oil,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at Sydney’s CMC Markets.

Russia’s February oil output was unchanged from January at 11.11 million barrels per day (bpd), energy ministry data showed, with its cuts from October 2016 levels remaining at 100,000 bpd or a third of what was pledged by Moscow under its agreement with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Official U.S. data also showed that crude inventories in the world’s biggest oil consumer rose for an eighth straight week to a record 520.2 million barrels last week.

Crude oil fell to a three-week low as the stronger U.S. dollar combined with concerns about rising U.S. crude oil inventories to reduce investor appetite,” ANZ said in a note.

But even as U.S. oil production rose and Russian output held steady, OPEC boosted already strong compliance with the group’s six-month deal to 94 percent, cutting output for a second month in February, a Reuters survey found.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said it was too early to say if the deal to reduce oil production would be extended beyond the end of June. OPEC, Russia and others are due to agree on output policy in the next three months.

Short-term technical support could push Brent toward $60 a barrel, which will “establish an adequate price level for OPEC to reduce, but not abolish, its market intervention at the May 25th meeting,” BMI Research said in a note on Friday.

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