Gold prices fell on Monday as the stronger dollar weighed after Friday’s weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs report did little to alter expectations for further Federal Reserve rate hikes this year.
Gold Prices Lower as Stronger Dollar Weighs – Gold prices fell on Monday as the stronger dollar weighed after Friday’s weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs report did little to alter expectations for further Federal Reserve rate hikes this year. Prices of the precious metal were pressured lower as the dollar moved higher against a basket of the other major currencies. The dollar briefly slid to the day’s lows following the report before regaining ground. The jobs data was seen as unlikely to alter investor expectations for a rate hike by the U.S. central bank at its March meeting. Fed officials have penciled in three rate increases this year and two in 2019. Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, as they increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced. Recent weakness in the dollar had supported gold prices by making the dollar-denominated metal cheaper for holders of other currencies.
Crude Oil Prices Hover Near Multi-Year Peaks – Crude oil prices were hovering near recent multi-year peaks on Monday, helped by news of a decline in U.S. oil rigs, although ongoing concerns over rising U.S. production were expected to limit gains. Oil services firm Baker Hughes on Friday reported a decline by five to 742 in the number of U.S. rigs in the week to January 5. However, optimism was limited by news U.S. production is expected to exceed 10 million barrels per day (bpd) very soon, mainly due to increasing output from shale drillers. Rising U.S. production could undermine production cut efforts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia. The producers agreed in December to extend current oil output cuts until the end of 2018.
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