Gold Dazzles … Then Crumbles, Extending Feb. Misery

By Barani Krishnan – Through the Asian and European hours of Monday, gold looked like it was getting past February’s misery. It was a new month, with the spike in that bludgeoned markets last week appearing blunted for and most other markets to recover.

But by noon in New York, a familiar writing appeared on the wall, and by the close of the day, the reason for the deja vu feeling became obvious: The weakness in gold was not yet over.

on New York’s Comex settled down $5.80, or 0.3%, at $1,723 an ounce. That was after getting to as high as $1,757.20 during the session.

In Friday’s session, Comex gold lost 2.6% after tumbling to an eight-month low of $1,715.05,

It ended last week down 2.7%, following through with the previous week’s slide of 2.5%. It also finished February down 6.6%, for its worst month since November 2016 .

“Gold is not in the clear just yet, but the fundamentals appear to be improving,” Ed Moya, analyst at New York’s OANDA, said on Monday, giving a half-hearted vote to the yellow metal.

“This week is all about Fed speak and if they can signal a little concern over the impact of higher yields on the recovery, that should give many investors the all-clear sign for scaling back into gold.”

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will speak about the economy at an online event hosted by The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, joining several officials of the central bank who will also be giving their thoughts this week on how well they expected recovery to fare from  Covid-19.

Those speeches aside, the Labor Department will be releasing on Friday . The market’s consensus is for a growth of 180,000 jobs last month, above January’s 49,000 expansion. A much higher number could again weigh on gold, which becomes even less attractive as a so-called safe haven.

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