Gold futures were under pressure Thursday, pulling back below the $1,300-an-ounce level as the U.S. dollar regained its footing and investors appeared to shrug off political turmoil in the U.K. surrounding the country’s preparations for exiting from the European Union.
Gold for April delivery GCJ9, -1.14% on Comex fell $11, or 0.8%, to $1,298.30 an ounce, while May silver SIK9, -1.79% dropped 18.6 cents, or 1.2%, to $15.27 an ounce.
“Participants on the gold market appear jaded by the Brexit issue and fed up with the whole business. Gold built upon its gains yesterday, the weaker U.S. dollar also playing its part in this, but is already shedding them again this morning,” wrote analysts at Commerzbank.
Gold rose for a second day on Wednesday to post its highest close of the month as U.K. lawmakers ruled out the possibility of the country exiting the EU without an agreement on London’s future relationship with Brussels. But Parliament has yet to approve an agreement with the EU, with lawmakers having twice rejected a plan worked out by U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May.
The British pound jumped Wednesday after the vote to rule out a “no-deal” Brexit. Parliament is set to vote Thursday on an extension of the exit deadline beyond March 29, though such a move would also require the unanimous approval of the EU’s other 27 governments.
The U.S. dollar stronger versus most major rivals Thursday, with the ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, +0.29% a measure of the currency against six major rivals, up 0.3%. A stronger dollar can weigh on commodities priced in the unit because it makes them more expensive to users of other currencies.
Gold maintained losses after data showed first-time applications for unemployment benefits rose last week to a one-month high, though the level of layoffs in the U.S. remained extremely low. Separately, data showed the cost of imported goods rose 0.6% in February, though the rise was driven largely by a 5% rise in the cost of oil, natural gas and other energy costs. Excluding fuel, import prices were unchanged.
In other metals trading, April platinum PLJ9, -1.75% fell $10.10, or 1.2%, to $831.60 an ounce, while June palladium PAM9, +0.13% was up $1.40, or 0.1%, to $1,508.10 an ounce.
May copper HGK9, -1.29% fell 4.15 cents, or 1.4%, to $2.894 a pound.
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