Gold prices ease as dollar strength dulls appeal

Gold prices ease as dollar strength dulls appeal
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BENGALURU (July 4): Gold prices edged lower on Monday (July 4) as an elevated US dollar hurt demand for greenback-priced bullion and also outweighed support from weakening Treasury yields.

Spot gold was down 0.2% at US$1,807.19 (about RM7,970.61) per ounce as of 0101 GMT after hitting a five-month low of US$1,783.50 last Friday. US gold futures fell 0.5% to US$1,809.50.

The dollar hovered close to recent two-decade highs, continuing to make gold less attractive for buyers holding other currencies after playing a significant part in bullion's worst quarterly showing in over a year.

Benchmark US 10-year Treasury yields fell to their lowest level in a month last Friday, buoying prices of non-yielding bullion.

Asian share markets started cautiously on Monday as a run of soft US data suggested downside risks for this week's June payrolls report, while the hubbub over a possible recession was still driving a relief rally in government bonds.

India has raised its basic import duty on gold to 12.5% from 7.5%, the government said last Friday, as the world's second-biggest consumer of the precious metal tries to dampen demand and bring down the trade deficit. 

Physical gold dealers in India offered steep discounts last week as demand remained weak, with the import tax hike likely to further sap interest, while top consumer China saw activity bounce back slowly as it emerged from Covid-19-led curbs.

SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.8% to 1,041.9 tonnes last Friday from 1,050.31 tonnes last Thursday. 

US federal government offices, stock and bond markets and the US Federal Reserve will be closed on Monday for the Independence Day holiday. 

Spot silver eased 0.2% to US$19.82 per ounce, platinum fell 0.5% to US$884.39 and palladium dropped 0.6% to US$1,948.50.