President Donald Trump’s policies have brought gold back to life. Gold futures rose for a second day, posting the biggest monthly gain since June, on investor concern over moves by Trump that included barring entry by citizens from seven predominantly Muslim nations and firing the acting US attorney general for refusing to enforce the order. The dollar headed for a third straight decline against a basket of 10 currencies, and US stocks slid.
Confusion over U.S trade and immigration policies has helped rekindle haven demand for gold, which in December capped its biggest quarterly decline in more than three years. Money is also flowing back to precious metals as speculation mounts that the Federal Reserve may be more cautious in raising US interest rates amid concerns Trump’s policies could stifle economic growth. Protests from New York to Atlanta to Detroit were held Sunday.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty and a lot of backlash over recent administration policies and that’s causing uncertainty in the market, and then all of a sudden the gold market has come back to life,” Phil Streible, a senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “The Fed may be slightly more cautious. It’s one thing to bring back jobs, but it’s another thing to cause protests and instability.”
Gold futures for April delivery advanced 1.3% to settle at $1,211.40 an ounce at 1:42 p.m. on the Comex in New York, taking this month’s gain to 5.2%. That’s the biggest monthly rally for a most-active contract since Britain’s decision to leave the European Union in June.
Fed officials are scheduled to announce their rate-hike decision Wednesday when policy makers are widely expected to keep borrowing costs unchanged.
“The gold market is in thrall to the Donald Trump show,” David Govett, head of precious metals trading at Marex Spectron, said by e-mail from London. “If Trump sticks to his immigration policy of the last few days, then gold should remain supported.”
“Uncertainty will keep equities and the dollar soft as the market comes to terms with the fact that Trump is the first politician in living memory, or ever, to actually enact every electoral promise he had made to the letter,” Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at Oanda Corp. in Singapore, said by e-mail. “Gold and other safe-havens should be the main beneficiaries.”