Gold hit and broke $1300 right on time to usher in the New Year. Friday’s price was the highest it has been in a month. As reported by Reuters, the commodity set its highest rise per annum since 2010, with Spot gold up over 12 percent for the year. Seen as a safe haven, gold’s rise, as often, is a result of the weakening dollar, political tensions and fading enthusiasm regarding the impact of the U.S. interest rate hike. Conversely on Friday, the dollar fell to its lowest point since late November, in comparison to a basket of currencies. The dollar is actually posting its worse year since 2003, fueled by low inflation, the Russian scandal and tension with North Korea.
U.S. gold futures for February delivery rose 0.93 percent reaching a high $1,309.80, which is its highest level since September 26, when gold hit its peak at $1,317.10. “In the last couple of weeks trade has been relatively thin, yields have been under pressure and the dollar as well, so gold has profited from that,” said Georgette Boele, ABN Amro analyst. “If you look over the year, dollar weakness has been the main theme.” Even the year’s three interest rate hikes couldn’t help the dollar rebound, and has thus had a minimal impact on gold prices. She predicts that next year gold will be vulnerable to the rising dollar. “The dollar is the most important driver, and then real yields,” Boele continued. “The Fed is increasing rates, but the dollar’s not profiting.”
Now that gold has hit $1,300, it will meet technical resistance for the mark, as traders proceed slowly. “Momentum indicators are bullish as gold appears poised to target the October high (of) 1,306,” said Scotia Mocatta’s technical team.
As far as other precious metals are concerned, palladium has seen the strongest growth this year, increasing over 55 percent. Its rise can be contributed to anxiety over its availability, following years of deficit. Spot palladium was at $1,062.75 an ounce on Friday. It has kept up a historically unusual premium to platinum throughout the fourth quarter of 2017. Platinum was at $924.24, up 3 percent for the year.
By: Hellen Zaboulani