Gold up as investors hold onto positions; but risk appetite remains
Gold rallied to a 2-1/2 month high last week as heightened tensions over Syria and U.S. sanctions on Russia sparked a drop in equities and ratcheted up interest in nominally defensive assets. Tensions have since eased, though concerns over Russia sanctions plans still linger.
Spot gold gained 0.14 percent at $1,347.44 an ounce at 4:26 p.m. ET. Gold futures for June delivery settled down $1.20, or 0.1 percent, at $1,349.50 per ounce. "People are reluctant to get out of their gold positions. Although the tensions have eased recently, I don't think they're ready to let go of their gold completely," said Ryan McKay, TD Securities commodities strategist.
A gradual return of risk appetite lifted shares, with European stocks climbing and Wall Street stocks higher after strong earnings from Netflix, Goldman Sachs and health majors.
The U.S. yield curve reached its flattest in more than a decade on Monday after the White House said U.S. President Donald Trump would nominate Richard Clarida as Federal Reserve vice chairman, adding another hawkish voice to the central bank.
A flatter yield curve typically reflects views the Fed plans to lift interest rates in the near term and is often understood to signal concern over the macroeconomic outlook. Higher rates tend to weigh on non-yielding bullion. "The market's waiting to see what the Fed is going to do; if they're going to have the data to move rates," said Walter Pehowich, Dillon Gage executive vice president of investment services.
The U.S. dollar recovered versus the euro after hitting a three-week high in earlier trade.
Meanwhile, silver increased 1.03 percent to $16.77 an ounce, while platinum gained 1.37 percent at $936.70, after earlier touching a six-day high of $936.90.
Palladium rose 1.26 percent to $1,014.10 an ounce after hitting its strongest since March 1 at $1,015.30. It rallied nearly 10 percent last week, the biggest weekly gain since January 2017, on fears that U.S. sanctions on Russia could hurt supply of the autocatalyst metal.
"Palladium has managed to reclaim the 200-day moving average and recent graphical levels at $973/963 and also breached the down channel that framed the correction since last January," Societe Generale said in a note. "$1,017 and $1,028, the two-year channel limit and the 76.4 percent retracement of the last bout of down-move, are immediate resistance levels."