Gold nudged lower in rush for liquidity with dollar firming

Bengaluru — Gold prices inched lower on Wednesday as a stronger dollar and dash for cash after a historic rout in US crude oil futures curbed demand for the safe-haven asset.

Spot gold eased 0.2% to $1,683.08/oz by 0347 GMT, after touching a near two-week low on Tuesday as the oil rout triggered a panic sell-off in wider markets, fuelling a rush for liquidity.

US gold futures rose 1% to $1,704.60. “There is a tussle between safe-haven buying and the need for cash,” said Cameron Alexander, an analyst with Refinitiv-owned metals consultancy GFMS, adding that a stronger dollar also weighed on bullion.

Traders will move from riskier assets to safe havens if stocks drop, he said, adding that investors were also hoarding cash to protect themselves from another sell-off in equities.

Against rivals, the dollar hovered near a two-week high scaled on Tuesday.

Asian share markets dropped to two-week lows as the floor fell out from under crude prices, exposing the deep economic damage from the pandemic.

After falling into negative territory for the first time in history, US crude futures recovered slightly, but the market continues to be plagued by a mounting supply glut and a virus-led demand collapse.

Gold may come under pressure in the longer term as it is used as a hedge against inflation and falling crude prices tend to rise deflationary pressures in the market, analysts said. However, huge monetary and fiscal stimulus measures by global central banks, especially the US Federal Reserve, and governments will keep gold supported, analysts said.