Gold rose on geopolitical fears and uncertainty early Monday as its attractiveness as a hedge grew on rising tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Palladium climbed to a new record.
The U.S. announced late last week that it was sending troops to Saudi Arabia after drone attacks on key oil facilities in the kingdom. Both the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have blamed Iran for the attacks. The Iranian president warned Sunday that foreign forces are threatening the security of the region. He pledged to unveil a peace initiative at the United Nations General Assembly later this week in New York.
The December gold contract rose 0.6% Friday to settle at $1,515.10 an ounce on Comex. It gained 1% last week. Silver slipped 0.2% Friday but outpaced gold for the week, with the most-active December up 1.6% for the week. Currently, the Gold December contract is at $1,526.60 and silver’s is at $18.460.
Hedge funds and money managers raised their bullish positions in Comex gold and trimmed bullish bets on silver contracts in the week ended Sept. 17, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission reported Friday. Holdings at SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 1.19% to 894.15 metric tons Friday from Thursday, according to Reuters.
Spot palladium, which hit a new record high of $1,657.09 an ounce early Monday, climbed 2% last week amid continued worries about supplies from South Africa and increased demand from China. Spot platinum slipped 0.2% last week.
After a series of monetary policy decisions last week, investors are shifting their focus to geopolitics, the trade dispute between the U.S. and China and the state of the global economy.
The CME FedWatch Tool shows that, after two consecutive cuts, investors think the Fed will keep interest rates unchanged at policy makers’ Oct. 30 meeting. The probability of no change is at 50.8% currently. Another 49.2% predicted a 25 basis point reduction.
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He plans to visit Washington in the second week of October to meet Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for high-level negotiations, Bloomberg reported, citing separate people familiar with that planning, and the two sides are aiming for a high-level meeting around Oct. 10.
In economic releases this week, U.S. GDP data and initial jobless claims are due out Thursday. New York Fed President John Williams is scheduled to speak Monday at the U.S. Treasury Market Conference hosted at his bank, and CFTC Chairman Heath Tarbert is set to deliver remarks at the same event.