Gold futures on Wednesday resumed their climb toward the psychologically important price of $1,300 an ounce, finding support from the turmoil surrounding the U.K.’s plan to leave the European Union and the upcoming vote of no confidence facing Prime Minister Theresa May’s government.
Caution among traders has deepen “ahead of a no-confidence vote on British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government and other geopolitical risks, including the U.S. government shutdown, loom large in investors minds,” said Mark O’Byrne, research director at GoldCore.
“Physical demand for gold coins and bars has picked up in the U.K. and Ireland, due to Brexit and U.K. political uncertainty,” he added.
Gold for February delivery
was up $4.40, or 0.3%, at $1,292.80 an ounce, while March silver
was up 2.5 cents, or 0.2%, to $15.645 an ounce.
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s government suffered a historic defeat in a parliamentary vote Tuesday on her proposal for the terms of the country’s departure from the European Union, which is scheduled for March 29. The plan was defeated overwhelmingly by a margin of 432-202 in the House of Commons, with May’s government facing a vote of no confidence later Wednesday.
May is expected to survive the no-confidence challenge, but the path ahead in the Brexit process remains unclear.
Gold appeared to gain more ground Wednesday following news that U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sent President Trump a letter to postpone the State of the Union speech, said Jeff Wright, executive vice president of GoldMining Inc.
“I think the sudden increase [for gold] is shutdown related, especially when it appears the Democrats have zero interest in engaging with the president or compromising,” he said. “Also, as the partial shutdown is impacting Q1 GDP little by little.”
Looking ahead, Wright said “gold has some headwinds, technically at $1,300, to break through before we see it going much higher.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar was little changed versus major rivals, with the ICE U.S. Dollar Index
a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, nearly flat at 96.05. Gold and other commodities exhibit varying degrees of an inverse relationship with the dollar. A stronger dollar can weigh on demand by making commodities priced in the currencies more expensive to users of other currencies; a weaker dollar can have the opposite effect.
Meanwhile, U.S. benchmark stock indexes traded broadly higher as investors focus on corporate earnings.
In other metals trading, March copper
rose 1.1% to $2.664 a pound and April platinum
rose 0.8% to $806.20 an ounce.
Palladium prices headed sharply higher after a brief pause Tuesday to a long-running rally that looks to lift futures prices, by Wednesday’s settlement, above gold’s for the first time in more than 16 years.
was up 3.1% to $1,317.20 an ounce, poised for an eight record settlement in nine sessions.
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