Gold Futures Settle Lower As Equities, Dollar Firm Up

Gold futures drifted lower on Monday, extending losses to a second straight session, as rising equities and a stronger dollar weighed on the commodity.

Despite rising worries about the economic impact of the rapidly spreading coronavirus, riskier assets such as equities climbed higher Monday, reacting to recent stimulus announcements from the Federal Reserve and the U.S. government’s decision to extend social distancing to at least till the end of April.

The dollar index advanced to 99.32 by mid afternoon, before paring some gains and retreating to 99.10. Still, it was holding in positive territory, gaining about 0.75% from Friday’s close.

Gold futures for June ended down $10.90, or about 0.7%, at $1,643.20 an ounce, after ending lower by 0.4% a session earlier.

Silver futures for May ended down $0.402 at $14.132, while Copper futures for May settled lower by $0.0165 at $2.1555 per pound.

In economic news, a report from the National Association of Realtors showed an unexpected jump in pending home sales in the month of February.

NAR said its pending home sales index surged up by 2.4% to 111.5 in February after spiking by 5.3% to an upwardly revised 108.9 in January. The continued increase surprised economists, who had expected pending home sales to pull back by 1%.

However, NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun noted the latest data does not capture the significant fallout from the coronavirus pandemic or the measures taken to control the outbreak.

“Numbers in the coming weeks will show just how hard the housing market was hit, but I am optimistic that the upcoming stimulus package will lessen the economic damage and we may get a V-shaped robust recovery later in the year,” Yun said.

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