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Gold drops more than 2% to one-week low as Middle East worries ebb - REUTERS

APRIL 24, 2024

  • Gold posts biggest daily decline in over a year
  • Silver logs biggest one-day decline since February 2021
  • Wall Street opens higher after Friday sell-off

April 22 (Reuters) - Gold prices dropped more than 2% to a one-week low on Monday as worries over a wider Middle East conflict subsided, prompting investors to scale back safe-haven trades in favour of riskier assets like equities.

Spot gold was down 2.5% at $2,330.51 per ounce as of 1:52 p.m. ET (1752 GMT), and marked its biggest intra-day fall in more than a year.
U.S. gold futures settled 2.8% lower at $2,346.4.

Reuters Graphics
Reuters Graphics

"Some risk of an imminent retaliation in the Middle East has been removed, which has attracted some selling activity in gold. But the question is how much scope there is to the downside," said Daniel Ghali, a commodity strategist at TD Securities.

Tehran downplayed Israel's retaliatory drone strike against Iran, in what appeared to be a move aimed at averting regional escalation.
Gold also came under pressure as Wall Street's main indexes opened higher, cutting demand for the safe-haven and non-interest paying asset.
Geopolitical tensions coupled with robust central bank buying had driven gold to a record high of $2,431.29 on April 12.

Investors are now waiting for the release on Friday of the U.S. personal consumption expenditures (PCE) report for cues on the prospect of U.S. interest rate cuts.

Chicago Federal Reserve President Austan Goolsbee on Friday said progress on bringing down inflation has "stalled" this year, becoming the latest official to drop an earlier focus on the coming need for rate cuts.
"Gold could revisit all-time highs in case of a surprise PCE report that shows inflation cooling... We still expect buying activity out of Asia to remain resilient as gold is seen as a currency-appreciated hedge in Asia," Ghali added.

Spot silver slipped 5% to $27.22 an ounce, in its biggest daily decline in over three years. Platinum eased 0.9% to $923.55 and palladium shedded 1.3% to $1,013.25. "Any improvement in ICE (internal combustion engines) vehicle sales relative to the BEV (battery electric vehicle)market share could help to support the palladium price," Heraeus Metals wrote in a note.


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