Gold headed for a second straight weekly advance as bond yields retreated, with investors assessing economic data from the US and China.
The latest numbers from both countries show consumer spending boosting the recovery from the pandemic. US retail sales accelerated in March by the most in 10 months as business reopenings, increased hiring and a fresh round of stimulus checks emboldened shoppers. Meanwhile, China’s economy soared in the first quarter, with March retail sales expanding more than forecast.
After weeks of being confined to a narrow trading range, gold climbed Thursday to the highest since February 26 amid the surge in Treasuries. Traders suggested foreign buying and geopolitical risks may have contributed to the bond rally, with many investors caught positioned for further weakness. Bullion was also supported this week after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated his dovish stance on monetary policy, although the robust economic data and record US equities have posed some headwinds.
“The sharp drop in Treasury yields in the face of strong US economic data has surprised traders paying attention to the reflation-driven bond sell-off in the last quarter,” said Avtar Sandu, a senior manager for commodities at Phillip Futures Pte. “Although the long-term structural drivers that drove gold to historic highs last year remain in the bigger picture, the fundamental drivers have seen its impact eroded by the opening up of economies. Green shoots are emerging in some of the Covid-19 ravaged countries as indicated by better economic activity.”
Spot gold was steady at $1 763.78 an ounce at 12:15 p.m. in Singapore, bringing this week’s gain to 1.1%. Silver, platinum were little changed. Palladium steadied after rising to the highest level in more than a year on Thursday. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.1% to trim a second weekly decline.