Gold edged lower on Monday, retreating further from last week’s 3-1/2-month high as the U.S. dollar regained some ground against the buoyant euro and traders bet on further U.S. interest rate hikes after Friday’s payrolls data. The dollar, which has remained weak after its biggest annual drop since 2003, had helped to lift assets priced in the U.S. currency, with gold last week registering a fourth straight weekly gain for the first time since April.
Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,318.84 an ounce by 1:41 p.m. EST (1841 GMT), while U.S. gold futures for February delivery settled down $1.90, or 0.1 percent, at $1,320.40 per ounce.
“Gold has been following the dollar pretty heavily. We are watching the dollar relative to U.S. deficits,” said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist for U.S. Bank Wealth Management. “Higher deficits, which it looks like tax cuts will do, means a weaker dollar. So there’s room for gold.”
The dollar rose 0.5 percent against the euro on Monday. After mixed U.S. payrolls data on Friday, traders of U.S. short-term interest rate futures continued to bet that the Federal Reserve will hike U.S. interest rates at least twice in 2018. Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, which increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.