July 20, 2018 / 4:40 AM / a month ago

Gold snaps losing run after Trump slams strong dollar

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Friday from one-year lows hit the previous day and spot platinum increased more than 3 percent after U.S. President Donald Trump criticized the strength of the dollar and interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve, pushing the greenback sharply lower.

An employee sorts gold bars in the Austrian Gold and Silver Separating Plant 'Oegussa' in Vienna, Austria, December 15, 2017. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/Files

Spot gold gained 0.7 percent at $1,230.89 per ounce by 1:40 p.m. EDT (1740 GMT) and U.S. gold futures settled up $7.10, or 0.6 percent, at $1,231.10 per ounce.

Platinum gained 2.8 percent at $827 an ounce, earlier rising 3.2 percent to $830.10, but on track to end the week barely changed. Its Friday performance followed gold prices, traders said.

But gold was still down almost 1 percent this week, with little sign of an end to the slide in prices that has knocked 10 percent off gold’s value since mid-May.

The stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for buyers with other currencies. Higher interest rates tend to boost the dollar and raise the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch said on Friday fears of a trade war had seen global investors plough $5 billion into bonds this week while pulling $1.2 billion from gold.

“There’s a good chance that if you start to see any change in the stance on the dollar, rhetoric or comments from the Fed, I think you would see gold bounce back (up) pretty hard,” said Michael Ellingston trader at U.S. Global Investors in San Antonio.

Despite Trump’s monetary policy intervention, the dollar was still near one-year highs on Friday as Fed Chairman Jerome Powell did nothing this week to counter expectations of two more rate rises this year and said the United States was poised for several more years of growth.

Meanwhile, funds and money managers have cut their net long position in Comex gold to a 2-1/2-year low, helping drive down prices.

And gold-backed exchange traded funds tracked by Reuters have cut their holdings by more than 5 percent since their 2018 peak in mid-May.

Gold on Thursday touched $1,211.08 an ounce, the lowest since July last year.

On the technical front, support was at gold’s July 2017 low of $1,204.90 and Fibonacci resistance was at $1,234.70, analysts at ScotiaMocatta said, adding that technical and momentum indicators suggested prices would fall further.

Meanwhile, silver gained 1.7 percent at $15.52 an ounce but was still down nearly 2 percent this week.

Palladium gained 2.7 percent at $893 an ounce but was set for a weekly loss of almost 5 percent.

Reporting by Renita D. Young and Peter Hobson; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Chizu Nomiyama

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