Friday, 22 June, 2018

Gold falls on strong dollar, higher U.S. yields

US stocks wobble and bond yields set four-year highs Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed
Kelvin Reese | 27 April, 2018, 11:24

It has benefited in recent weeks from concerns over the U.S.

"Recently there has been some optimism that the U.S-China trade war isn't going to be as big of an issue", said Natixis precious metals analyst Bernard Dahdah.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .miapj0000pus edged up 0.09 percent.

Shanghai bucked the trend and slipped 0.3 per cent.

The Dow .dji rose 0.25 percent overnight, ending a five-day losing streak, and the S&P 500 .spx gained 0.18 percent on optimism over a spate of upbeat earnings that managed to offset jitters over rising US bond yields.

The greenback was bolstered by strong economic data, as well as by the 10-year Treasury benchmark yield breaching the 3 percent threshold for the first time in four years earlier in the week.

The rise in borrowing yields and commodity prices has caused several companies, such as Caterpillar and 3M, to caution this week about rising costs, raising flags for investors about the strength of future earnings. "But the Federal Reserve signaled in March that its rate hikes would be gradual", said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management in Tokyo.

"Expectations towards US rate hikes being gradual are enabling equities to take the current yield rise in stride". The next key technical level for the 10-year yield is 3.05 percent, which would put the yield at its highest level since 2011.

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The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, was steady at 91.177 after rising to as much as 91.261 in the previous session, its highest since January 12.

Facebook reported a surprisingly strong rise in profit and an increase in users, with no sign that business was hurt by a scandal over the mishandling of users' personal data.

The euro fell to its lowest since mid-January at $1.211 after the European Central Bank announced its decision to keep monetary policy unchanged.

Against the yen, the dollar set a 2-1/2-month high of 109.46 yen but later eased to 109.32 yen.

Crude oil prices were up amid the prospect of fresh sanctions on Iran and concerns about output from Venezuela.

Brent crude added 0.6 per cent to $74.43 a barrel and USA crude futures were 0.5 per cent higher at $68.38 a barrel.

Traders are beginning to question whether the USA dollar is really at risk of a long structural decline - as posited by many - when the Federal Reserve will be raising rates faster than other major central banks.

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