Gold hovers near $1,500, ‘stuck in no-man’s land’

Gold futures wavered between modest losses and gains Wednesday, holding near the $1,500-an-ounce level after four consecutive sessions of declines, as traders weighed the easing of near-term U.S.-China trade worries, a day ahead of the European Central Bank meeting.

“Some recent trade optimism and split views on what the ECB will do has kept gold stuck in no-man’s land,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda.

“We we could see a delay in the ECB’s [quantitative easing] launch, that could provide one last downward push before we see buyers fully re-emerge,” he said in an email update. “Medium-term outlook still calls for higher gold prices as central bank buying remains strong and the Fed appears to be locked into an easing cycle, despite their hesitation to say so.”

Gold for December delivery GCZ19, +0.25% on Comex fell 30 cents, or 0.02%, to $, 1498.90 an ounce, while December silver SIZ19, -0.09% lost 8.6 cents, or 0.5%, to $18.10 an ounce.

Gold hit a string of more-than-six-year highs earlier this month as stocks sold off in August with the U.S.-China trade war worsening, but has pulled back this month as equities have steadied. Gold is down around 1% so far this week and 2% since the end of August.

“So, unless risk appetite turns sour again, or the dollar slumps — say, as a result of hawkish ECB or a very poor U.S. CPI report tomorrow — gold could extend its losses further,” said Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at Forex.com, in a note, referring to the August consumer-price index.

And gold looks more vulnerable to further weakness than silver, he said, “given the rosier sentiment towards risk assets, with [silver] being supported by its other main use as an industrial material. Hence, or otherwise, the gold-silver ratio has been falling, making silver more appealing (or less attractive to the sellers) in the short term.”

In other metals trading action, December palladium PAZ19, +1.20% rose $25.90, or 1.7%, to $1,580 an ounce, while October platinum PLV19, +0.61% gained $7, or 0.8%, to $943.60 an ounce.

December copper HGZ19, -0.70% lost 0.6% to $2.6135 a pound.

Among exchange-traded funds, SPDR Gold Shares GLD, +0.50% edged up by 0.2%.

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Ed Moya

Ed Moya

Senior Market Analyst at OANDA
With more than 20 years’ trading experience, Ed Moya is a market analyst with OANDA, producing up-to-the-minute fundamental analysis of geo-political events and monetary policies in the US, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Over the course of his career, he has worked with some of the world’s leading forex brokerages and research departments including Global Forex Trading, FX Solutions and Trading Advantage. Most recently he worked with TradeTheNews.com, where he provided market analysis on economic data and corporate news. Based in New York, Ed is a regular guest on several major financial television networks including BNN, CNBC, Fox Business, and Bloomberg. He is often quoted in leading print and online publications such as the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. He holds a BA in Economics from Rutgers University. Follow Ed on Twitter @edjmoya ‏
Ed Moya