Gold Slumps Amid Weaker US Dollar, Higher Bonds

Gold was one of the few commodities to trade in the red in the final session of the week. Movement in gold futures was lackluster, allowing the yellow metal to secure a modest weekly gain. As gold prices try to stay above $1,800, industry observers are optimistic that the precious metal can trade in this range amid inflation concerns and a weaker greenback.

March gold futures tumbled $2.30, or 0.13%, to $1,824.50 per ounce at 16:41 GMT on Friday on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold is poised for a weekly boost of 0.55%, paring its year-to-date slump to around 4%.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is rallying to end the trading week. April silver futures advanced $0.388, or 1.43%, to $27.435 per ounce. The white metal will enjoy a weekly surge of 1.5%, raising its 2021 gain to about 3.4%.

The broader financial markets are trading relatively quiet on Friday, but the commodities are performing admirably well. This may be due to a sliding buck as the US Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, fell 0.04% to 90.38, from an opening of 90.42. The DXY will record its worst weekly performance of the year with a 1.2% drop. A lower buck is good for dollar-pegged commodities because it makes it cheaper for foreign investors to purchase.

Bonds edged up higher, which is bad news for gold prices. The benchmark 10-year Treasury added 0.037% to 1.195%. The one-year note was flat at 0.068%, while the 30-year bond jumped 0.052% to 1.997%.

Market analysts say that the high number of weekly initial jobless claims, the sluggish economic recovery, and the Federal Reserve‘s inflationary efforts will limit gold’s red ink. Earlier this week, Fed Chair Jerome Powell warned that historically low interest rates are here to stay to cushion the economic blow and support the economic recovery. Plus, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently forecast that the federal deficit for 2021 will be $2.3 trillion, which does not include any additional stimulus. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) recently confirmed that more stimulus and relief spending would be coming later in the year.

On the data front, the University of Michigan’s preliminary numbers for February were disappointing. Economic conditions dropped to 86.2, consumer sentiment slid to 76.2, and consumer expectations declined to 69.8.

In other metal markets, March copper futures rose $0.0115, or 0.3%, to $3.783 per pound. March platinum futures picked up $13.20, or 1.06%, to $1,260.20 an ounce. March palladium futures added $35.00, or 1.49%, to $2,382.00 per ounce.

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