Business Maverick

Business Maverick

Gold Collapses Below $1,900 as Rout Extends Into the Second Day

A worker handles a 12.5 kilogram gold ingot at the Uralelectromed Copper Refinery, operated by Ural Mining and Metallurgical Co. (UMMC), in Verkhnyaya Pyshma, Russia, on Thursday, July 30, 2020. Gold surged to a fresh record Friday fueled by a weaker dollar and low interest rates. Silver headed for its best month since 1979. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Gold’s rout is not yet done. Prices sank below $1,900 an ounce on Tuesday, extending the precious metal’s slump into a second day after the haven lost more than 5% in the week’s opening session.

After setting a record above $2,000 an ounce last week, gold’s rally has come to a juddering halt as U.S. bond yields advanced, eroding the haven’s appeal. The swift drop followed modest outflows from gold-backed exchange-traded funds, and a 15-day run in overbought territory for the relative strength index.

Gold had been on a tear in 2020, and the reversal represents a challenge for the metal’s backers. The haven has been favored as the coronavirus pandemic pummeled the global economy, prompting central banks and governments to deploy massive stimulus. Still, on Monday, President Vladimir Putin said Russia cleared the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine for use, buoying appetite for risk.

“Once it got to $2000 per ounce, in a lot of investors’ minds that could have been an opportunity to take profit off the table,” said Gavin Wendt, senior resource analyst at MineLife Pty. “The real trigger the news last night about Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine, which was a cue for some investors to take profit from their gold positions and to leap back into equities. It’s a high-risk play, but if you’re sitting on profits, it’s quite a sound strategy.”

Spot gold sank as much as 2.1% to $1,872.61 an ounce and traded at $1,885.33 at 10:40 a.m. in Singapore, as gold futures tumbled on the Comex. Silver also dropped sharply, with futures losing more than 9% at one point to trade below $24 an ounce.

Recent news and commentary on gold:

On Monday, DoubleLine Capital LP’s Jeffrey Gundlach said that he expects gold to keep trading higher despite the setback. Among banks that have forecast substantial gains in recent weeks, Bank of America Corp. has predicted that prices will advance to $3,000.

Benchmark Treasury yields have climbed more than 10 basis points so far this month, amid improving risk appetite and an imminent flood of debt issuance. The recent rebound reflects investor hope that the coronavirus will be contained amid Russia’s vaccine, according to Standard Chartered Plc.

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