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Metals Stocks: Gold edges lower, pinned down by stronger dollar and forced liquidation

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Gold traded lower Thursday, continuing to betray its reputation as a haven, as a global equity rout triggers forced liquidation and a surge in the U.S. dollar.

Gold for April delivery GCJ20, +0.28%  on Comex fell 0.2% to $1,475,40 an ounce, while May SIK20, +2.23%  rose 2% to $12.05 an ounce.

U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a lower start for Wall Street after another rout on Wednesday that was accompanied by selling across asset classes, including traditional havens like U.S. Treasurys, and a continued surge in demand for the U.S. dollar. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, +0.64%, a measure of the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, rose 1% Thursday after hitting a three-year high a day earlier.

Read: How a ‘disorderly’ U.S. dollar is amplifying the stock-market rout and adding to volatility

“Investor panic on financial markets has resulted in a liquidation of open positions and a flight to the most liquid assets, such as U.S. Treasurys and cash in dollars and Japanese yen,” said Georgette Boele, precious metals analyst at ABN Amro, in a note.

Worries about physical demand as a result of a global slowdown are also a drag on gold, while a rise in the Cboe Volatility Index VIX, +3.61%  to an all-time high and continued strength in the dollar set up a negative environment for the metal, she said.

‘We expect financial markets to remain in a risk off mode in the coming weeks and months, which should result in more dollar strength and gold price weakness,” she said.