Gold prices settle higher as U.S. dollar weakens after China’s decision to ease COVID curbs

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Gold and silver futures settled sharply higher on Tuesday as the U.S. dollar slipped. Copper also jumped on hopes that China lifting COVID-19 restrictions to reopen its economy will boost demand of industrial metals and support the country’s real-estate sector.

Price action
  • Gold for February delivery

    rose $18.90, or 1.1%, to settle at $1,823.10 per ounce on Comex. It had traded as high as $1,841.90 in early dealings, the highest intraday level for a most-active contract since June 27, according to FactSet data.

  • March silver

    rose 30 cents, or 1.2%, to end at $24.22 per ounce.

  • March palladium

    rose $94.30, or 5.4%, to finish at $1,826.30 per ounce, while April platinum futures

    fell 10 cents, or less than 0.1%, ending at $1,029.70 per ounce.

  • March copper

    climbed 3 cents, or 0.8%, to settle at $3.84 per pound.

Market drivers

Gold prices jumped to their highest level in six months on Tuesday, as hopes surrounding decisions by the yellow metal’s top consumer China to further dismantles COVID-19 restrictions and reopens its borders weighed on the dollar.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index 
a gauge of the dollar’s strength against a basket of major currencies, was off 0.2% at 104.09. It has fallen 7% since the start of the fourth quarter.

“Gold remains poised just under multimonth highs, and if the contrarian idea of a weaker dollar in 2023 comes to fruition (and there’s reason to believe it will) then gold will have a positive catalyst behind it as we start the new year,” said analysts at the Sevens Report.

Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco Metals, said the gold futures bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage.

“Prices are in a seven-week-old uptrend on the daily bar chart. Bulls’ next upside price objective is to produce a close in February futures above solid resistance at $1,900.00…First resistance is seen at $1,825.00 and then at last week’s high of $1,833.80,” he said in a Tuesday note.

Separately, copper prices rose on Tuesday after China further relaxed its COVID-19 curbs, raising hopes of a recovery in the country’s embattled property sector.

Meanwhile, a top adviser to the People’s Bank of China on Saturday called for strengthening of real estate policy in light of sluggish economic growth over the past three years as China had pursued its zero-COVID policy.

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