Gold slips on steady dollar, softer oil

LONDON - Gold eased on Friday as the market responded to this week's big fall in oil prices and a rise in the dollar against the euro, denting bullion's appeal as a currency hedge.

By (Reuters)

Published: Fri 18 Jul 2008, 6:36 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:52 PM

However, gold recovered from lows as weakness on the equity markets burnished its appeal as a haven from risk.

Gold eased to $960.60/961.60 an ounce at 0916 GMT from $962.10/963.10 an ounce late in New York on Thursday, having earlier slipped as low as $954.50 an ounce.

"Oil prices fell by more than 10 percent in just a couple of days, and that was just so great that it hasn't really been priced into gold (yet)," said Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg.

Oil has ticked up on Friday, but remain some 11.5 percent below the record high of $147.27 a barrel they reached at the end of last week.

Gold typically moves in line with crude, as it can be bought as a hedge against oil-led inflation. Weakness in the oil price also tends to dampen interest in commodities as a whole.

The other main external driver of gold, the dollar, also pressured gold as it held onto gains made on Thursday against the euro.

Dollar strength pressures gold, as the precious metal is bought as a hedge against currency weakness.

Weak equities support

However, persistent weakness on the equity markets has helped gold recover from the lows it struck earlier in the session.

European shares slipped in early trade as banks fell after lacklustre results from Merrill Lynch, while oil stocks lost ground after the dip in crude prices.

"In recent days one of the most important reasons for gold price to rise was outflows from the equity markets, as the money is reallocated into gold," said Weinberg.

"I expect the negative correlation between the equity markets and gold to continue."

Elsewhere spot platinum fell to $1,863.00/1,883.00 an ounce from $1,881.00/1,901.00 late in New York on Thursday, having hit an intraday low of $1,845 an ounce, its weakest level since May 2.

The metal has been pressured by news that a power shortage in South Africa -- the key factor that sent platinum to an all-time high of $2,290 an ounce earlier this year -- is unlikely to result in further powercuts this year.

The metal, which is widely used in autocatalysts, had already been suffering this week from fears a U.S. slowdown could impact car demand.

"Speculation of a slowdown in U.S. vehicle demand and a build-up in China's stockpile of unsold new vehicles have elevated fears of an industrial demand slowdown for platinum," said Standard Bank analyst Manqoba Madinane.

Auto industry demand accounts for 60 percent of total platinum consumption.

Among other precious metals, spot palladium was steady at $421.00/426.00 an ounce from $420.00/428.00 an ounce, while silver rose to $18.55/18.61 an ounce from $18.39/18.48 late in New York.

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