Gold prices drop to two-and-a-half week low on easing Middle East conflict

The yellow metal marked its worst day in more than a year in previous session

Gold hit a record high of $2,431.29 on April 12. Reuters
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Gold prices fell on Tuesday to their lowest levels in more than two weeks on easing concerns of an escalation in the Middle East crisis, and as investors booked profits while awaiting key US data for new clues on the Federal Reserve's rate trajectory.

Spot gold was down by about 1 per cent at $2,304.99 an ounce as of 3.36am GMT. US gold futures fell 1.2 per cent to $2,318.80.

“Gold has been the recipient of different types of buying flows in recent months, and now one of those flows has slightly dried up with safe-haven demand receding,” said Tim Waterer, chief market analyst at KCM Trade.

Gold dipped more than 2 per cent in the previous session, marking its biggest intraday fall in more than a year, as fears of a wider regional conflict eased after Iran said it had no plan to retaliate following an apparent Israeli drone attack.

“Investors are seeing this as an opportunity to lock in some profits after gold's recent run of good form,” Mr Waterer said.

Gold hit a record high of $2,431.29 on April 12.

This week's main economic focus will be on the US gross domestic product data on Thursday and Personal Consumption Expenditures print on Friday.

“If these happen to produce a beat to the upside, we could see a further extension of the wait for interest rate relief. Such a scenario could cause the gold price to take a larger step back … in the short term from an opportunity-cost perspective,” Mr Waterer said.

Markets forecast for a 0.3 per cent increase in the headline PCE number in March, unchanged from the previous month, and a year-on-year gain of 2.6 per cent, compared with a 2.5 per cent increase in February, according to a Reuters poll.

Among other precious metals, spot silver fell about 1 per cent to $26.92 an ounce while spot platinum dropped 0.7 per cent to $911.10 and palladium slumped 1.1 per cent to $997.75.

Updated: April 23, 2024, 5:25 AM