March 17, 2018

Gold holds firm as Fed rate hike guidance weighs on dollar

21 March 2017, 06:29 | Melvin Schneider

Gold holds firm as Fed rate hike guidance weighs on dollar

Gold holds firm as Fed rate hike guidance weighs on dollar

Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.

Banks were among the biggest decliners in Europe, dragged down by a 3 percent fall in Deutsche Bank shares one day before the start of Germany's biggest lender's 8 billion-euro cash call.

European stocks fell as much as 0.3 percent and USA futures pointed to a fall of around 0.2 percent at the open on Wall Street.

Market analysts put the latest decline - and caution in equity markets - down to the weekend's G20 communiqué, which dropped an explicit statement of opposition to protectionist trade policies.

Elsewhere, the pound tumbled against the dollar, after Downing Street said UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, will officially notify the European Union (EU) next Wednesday that the UK is leaving the EU by triggering Article 50 - the legal process by which the UK leaves the EU.

"As the world's number one economy is preparing to set significant barriers against the world, investors are increasingly anxious", she said.

Group of 20 financial leaders at a meeting expressed renewed concern about the United States' global trade relations and by implication the Trump administration's concern over the strong dollar.

The tech-heavy US Nasdaq Composite index briefly bucked the trend and hit a record intraday peak of 5,915.120 before easing from that high.

The Australian dollar traded at $0.7725, after hitting a 4-1/2-month high of $0.7748 on Monday.

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G20 financial officials reiterated their warnings against competitive devaluations and disorderly currency markets.

The specter of slower USA rate hikes has been helping high-yielding currencies.

"I think markets are focussed on comments made by FOMC members to get a better idea of the path forward for policy and how that will translate for the dollar", said Sireen Harajli, FX strategist at Mizuho in NY.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was flat at 100.32 after touching its lowest since February 7 of 100.020.

Meanwhile, the dollar reversed early morning losses against the yen with USD/JPY 0.01% lower at 112.67 while USD/CAD rose 0.09% to $1.3359.

Platinum fell 0.7 percent to $961.90, while palladium was down 0.2 percent at $778.05.

The leading candidates clashed in a televised debate on Monday, with centrist Emmanuel Macron accusing far-right leader Marine Le Pen of lying and seeking to divide the French.

Oil prices also fell on Monday after reports indicated that OPEC did not cut production as much as originally promised and that US drilling continued to increase.

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