Gold futures stage U-turn to log first decline in six sessions amid stock-market stumble

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Gold futures finished slightly lower Thursday, marking the first decline in six sessions, as stocks, bond yields and the dollar all headed lower, perhaps checking bullion’s decline.

A selloff in the equity market—though the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.97%, the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.96% and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.79% were off their worst levels of the session—may have resulted in investors liquidating some of their winning holdings like gold, weighing on the precious metal’s price, strategists speculated.

The spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus was one other factor that was helping stoke appetite for safe-haven assets like Treasurys and gold, said Chintan Karnani, chief market analyst at Insignia Consultants.

He speculated that at a breakout for bullion above $1,821.40 would trigger an additional upsurge for the precious metal, sparked by investors being forced to unwind bearish bets on gold.

August gold  GCQ21, -0.30% GC00, -0.30% traded $1.90, or 0.1%, lower to settle $1,800.20 an ounce after gaining 0.4% on Wednesday. Gold hit an intraday peak at $1,819.50 before pulling back.

Gold had been bid higher after the release of minutes from the latest meeting of the U.S.’s rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee showed officials pondering the start of a reduction in asset purchases, potentially sooner than they had originally expected.

Trading gold on Thursday seemed unswayed by U.S. weekly data on those seeking unemployment benefits, which rose 2,000 to 373,000 in the week. New jobless claims from two weeks ago were raised to 371,000 from 364,000.

Meanwhile, silver for September delivery SIU21, -0.86% SI00, -0.86% also saw its gain reverse, trading 14.2 cents, or, to settle at $25.987 an ounce, after losing 0.2% on Wednesday. Silver did see an intraday high on Thursday at $26.31 an ounce.

Trading in silver and gold come as the broader stock market skidded down sharply and the 10-year note TMUBMUSD10Y, 1.293% and 30-year Treasury debt TMUBMUSD30Y, 1.916% deepened their yield retreat to lows not seen since mid to early February.

Karnani cautioned, however, that the climb in precious metals could be undone if investors liquidate performing assets, like gold, to get cash.

In other metals, October platinum PLV21, -1.04% shed $7.40, or 0.7%, to settle at $1,074.50 an ounce; while palladium for September delivery PAU21, -1.64% shed $38.10, or 1.3%, to end at $2,810.20 an ounce.

September copper HGU21, -1.47% gave up 5.8 cents, or 1.3%, to finish at $4.2645 an ounce.

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