Gold and SPDR Gold Trust (ETF) (NYSEARCA:GLD) eased in Asia trading Thursday as favorable oil news saw investors putting down safe-haven assets in favor of equities and other yield-bearing assets. The coming meeting of Federal Reserve officials at which interest rates review for this year will be discussed also appeared to have contributed to the cautious trading in gold.
Gold contracts for June delivery traded down 0.59% at $1,247.00 an ounce New York Mercantile Exchange’s Comex division.
The oil factor in gold trading
Reports that crude oil production in the U.S. cooled in the week ended April 15 to the levels last seen in October 2014 helped to lift crude oil prices, but at the expense of gold. In addition to the slowdown in U.S. oil output, Iraq also signaled that it would revive the talks to pare oil production among OPEC members.
Talks that would have resulted in crude oil output freeze in OPEC member countries broke off last weekend when Saudi Arabia raised demands that couldn’t be met. Saudi Arabia said it would only agree to curb its oil production if Iran also committed to do the same. But Iran has also said that the thought of freezing its oil output would only be considered after its gets its production to the level it was before it was slapped with international sanctions over its nuclear program.
Saudi Arabia and Iran are locked in what analysts have termed a supremacy contest, but the disagreement between the two OPEC members is hurting oil prices. But investors responded positively to the gesture that Iraq would be reopening the talks by its fellow OPEC members to do something about the global oil supply glut. As for gold, the positive response to Iraq’s hint about production freeze talks cooled appetite for it.
Fed rates review
The Fed officials will be meeting next week at which it is expected that it will become clearer exactly how many rate increases will be made in 2016 and how fast or slow they will come. The coming meeting has triggered caution among gold traders.
Despite the recent pullback in gold market, gold prices are up nearly 19% so far this year and in 1Q2016 the bullion touched its 30-year high.
Other precious metals
Silver contracts for May delivery fell 0.88% to $16.985 an ounce and copper futures rose 0.18% to $2.240 a pound.