|08-22-2014, 01:37 PM||#1|
Gold falls for the fifth straight session, Crude oil rebounds
Gold futures settled at the lowest level since June on Thursday, marking the fifth straight session in loss as investors abandoned the metal amid fears of an early interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve.
Bullion was hit hard by continuous selling after minutes from the Fed`s July meeting showed on Wednesday policymakers debated whether interest rates should be raised earlier given a surprisingly strong job market recovery, traders said.
The next focus for the market will be Fed Chair Janet Yellen`s comments at the Jackson Hole central bankers` gathering on Friday.
Economic optimism also pressured gold on encouraging U.S. housing and jobs data on Thursday, when bullion underperformed other precious metals complex and stock markets, with the S&P 500 index up 0.4 percent to a new intraday record.
Gold futures for December delivery settled down $19.80 at $1,275.40 per ounce, the lowest since June 17.
Investors shrugged off reports showing holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed ETF, rose 0.9 tonne to 800.09 tonnes on Wednesday, which was the third straight daily increase.
Gold and other precious metals have also suffered pressure from a stronger U.S. dollar over the week, with the Dollar index hitting its higher in nearly a year. The Dollar index last traded at 82.14, after hitting its highest since September 9 at 82.36.
Futures for other metals also fell also
-Silver futures for December delivery fell 0.27% to $1951 an ounce
-Platinum futures for October delivery fell 0.56% to $1421.20 per ounce
U.S. benchmark crude oil and Brent futures climbed on Thursday, boosted by strong economic data from the U.S. which overshadowed disappointing Chinese data that had earlier weighed on prices.
Sales of existing U.S. homes rose to a 10-month high in July and the number of initial jobless claims fell last week, signaling third-quarter strength in the economy.
Separate reports on Thursday showing factory activity in the mid-Atlantic region in August at its highest level since March 2011 and a gauge of future economic activity up solidly last month added to the hopes for improving demand for oil.
The world`s top crude oil benchmarks have fallen more than $10 a barrel since June on a build-up of supply in the Atlantic Basin and continued production from Iraq and Libya despite the risk of supply disruption from the region`s conflicts.
WTI crude futures for October delivery were up 62 cents at $94.7 a barrel, up after dropping to $92.50, the lowest since Jan. 15.
Data showing a large drop in crude inventories last week and refinery capacity use at a robust 93.4 percent helped spark Wednesday`s rally.
Brent October futures gained 0.44 cents to $102.72 a barrel.
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