Gold prices eased on Friday as a jump in US Treasury yields forced investors to reassess their positions again after a steep retreat from a record peak earlier this week that put bullion on course for its first weekly fall since early June. Spot gold was down 0.1 per cent at $1,950.94 an ounce by 0550 GMT (11:20 am in India). Bullion has declined 4 per cent so far this week, its biggest weekly percentage fall since early March. US gold futures fell 0.6 per cent to $1,959.50 per ounce.
“Gold is coming under pressure due an uptick in US yields, which is causing a little bit of selloff right now,” said Edward Meir, an analyst at ED&F Man Capital Markets.
Benchmark US 10-year yields rose, after the US Treasury flooded the market with supply, setting the dollar up to stem its recent slide and potentially eroding gold demand among those holding other currencies.
Higher yields increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.
Gold also largely ignored economic data from top consumer China, which missed market expectations and dented equities.
Markets kept a wary eye on a stalemate in Washington over a new stimulus package, with key US-China trade talks on August 15 also on the radar.
Gold has risen over 28 per cent this year, as unprecedented global stimulus to ease the economic blow from the pandemic pushed investors to bullion as a hedge against possible inflation and currency debasement.
“The longer-term uptrend is intact, given USD weakness and the scale of stimulus and as we expect interest rates to remain low or negative,” Standard Chartered analysts said in a note.
“Price dips are likely to be viewed as buying opportunities as the macro backdrop remains favourable for gold.”
Elsewhere, silver dropped 1.9 per cent to $27.02 per ounce, set to snap a nine-week-long winning streak, down 3.8 per cent so far.
Platinum fell 0.6 per cent to $952.01 and palladium was down 0.7 per cent at $2,152.50.