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Bullions shine
17-Jul-19   11:22 Hrs IST

Bullion prices ended substantially higher at Comex on Wednesday, 17 July 2019. Gold futures finished sharply higher Wednesday, sending prices to a fresh six-year high, as the U.S. dollar weakened and traders weighed expectations for a U.S. interest-rate cut.

Prices climbed further in electronic trading Wednesday afternoon, following the release of the Federal Reserve's Beige Book—the central bank's periodic examination of the U.S. economy. The report said the economy is expanding at roughly same “modest” pace as indicated in the last survey. The report followed news Tuesday that Fed Chariman Jerome Powell reiterated in a speech in Paris that the economic outlook hasn't improved since the last Federal Open Market Committee meeting in June, setting the stage for an interest-rate cut.

August gold trading on Comex rose $12.10, or 0.9%, to settle at $1,423.30 an ounce, after closing 0.2% lower on Tuesday. Separately, September silver added 29.3 cents, or 1.9%, at $15.971 an ounce, after closing 2% higher on Tuesday.

A recent round of stronger-than-expected U.S. economic data had earlier dented expectations for more aggressive interest rate cuts in coming months by the Fed. The expectation for lower rates can provide a lift to the precious yellow metal because it doesn't offer a yield.

On Wednesday, data showed that construction of new homes slipped by 0.9% to an annual pace of 1.25 million last month.

Market expectations for Fed interest rate cuts remain relatively high. Fed-funds futures markets are showing a 67% probability of a 25-basis-point cut to rates, which currently stand between 2.25%-2.50%, and a 32% chance of a half-point cut to rates.

The U.S. dollar was down 0.2%, at 97.209, while the 10-year Treasury note fell to yield 2.0593%.

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