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Spot gold targets biggest weekly loss in more than 4 months


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Mar 25, 2010
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PRECIOUS-Spot gold targets biggest weekly loss in more than 4 months

* Newcrest hedges some of Telfer gold production
* Gold starting to find benefit from inflation hedge
* Coming up: U.S. durable goods orders at 1230 GMT

(Updates prices)
By Melanie Burton
MELBOURNE, March 24 Spot gold slipped to its
lowest in nearly one month on Thursday and was poised for its
biggest weekly loss since early November as hawkish comments by
U.S. Federal Reserve officials stoked a recovery in the dollar.
The comments put investors on guard for the possibility of
more U.S. interest rate hikes this year than currently
anticipated, triggering a widespread correction across
commodities. Oil plunged 4 percent, while copper cracked
below $5,000 a tonne.
Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said the central
bank should consider another hike as early as next month if the
U.S. economy continues to improve, while Chicago Fed President
Charles Evans also said he expects two more rate increases this
The move pushed investors to cut long positions, said broker
Triland Metals in a note, with further consolidation looking
"Sentiment may have gained traction fairly sharply over
previous months, however the fundamentals are yet to turn a
corner ... It's a tough call to the upside until we break $1,286
and $1,308."
Spot gold fell 0.5 percent to $1,213.50 by 0703 GMT,
adding to more than 2 percent losses from the previous session.
Gold earlier fell as low as $1,212.20 an ounce, its weakest
since Feb. 26 and was on track for a 3.3-percent weekly loss
ahead of the Easter holiday break which starts on Friday.
U.S. gold slipped 0.9 percent to $1,213.10.
New U.S. single-family home sales rebounded modestly in
February as a surge in the West offset sharp declines in other
regions, pointing to a gradually improving housing sector amid a
dearth of properties available on the market.
"Gold is starting to benefit from a revival of demand for
inflation hedges, offsetting at least some of the downside risks
from renewed strength in the U.S. dollar," said Capital
Economics in a note.
"What's more, silver is now exceptionally cheap relative to
gold, particularly if the prices of industrial metals recover
Silver lost 0.3 percent to $15.18. Platinum
slipped 0.3 percent to $952 an ounce, while palladium
slid 0.8 percent to $575.
In news, Newcrest Mining, one of the world's
biggest gold producers, will hedge more than half-a-million
ounces of gold over the next two years, abandoning a long-held
opposition to cap its exposure to market bullion prices.

U.S. oil prices fell in Asian trading on Thursday, adding
to a slump in the previous session, after stockpiles rose for
the sixth week to another record, sapping the strength of a
two-month rally in prices.

(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Joseph Radford and
Biju Dwarakanath)



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Dusting off the dry powder keg as I type this