MTECHTIPS:-Gold under pressure ahead of jobs report

MTECHTIPS:-Gold under pressure ahead of jobs report

MTECHTIPS – Gold prices sank to a six-week low on Thursday, as investors’ optimism for a June rate hike rose to its highest level, after the Federal Reserve left its benchmark rate unchanged but downplayed slower first-quarter economic growth. Gold for June delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange shed $18.16 or 1.46%, to $1,231.27 a troy ounce by 13:44 EDT. Gold prices slumped to a six-week low, after uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the French presidential election eased, following a strong performance by pro-EU candidate Emmanuel Macron in a TV presidential debate against Marine Le Pen ahead of the final vote on Sunday. Meanwhile, investors’ expectations of a June rate hike hit its highest level, after the Federal Reserve released a somewhat hawkish statement on Wednesday. The U.S. central bank left its key benchmark rate unchanged but downplayed the significance of slower first quarter economic activity. According to investing.com’s Fed rate monitor tool nearly 70% of traders expect the Fed to hike interest rates in June. Gold is sensitive to moves in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion. Elsewhere, mixed U.S. economic data failed to stem the slide in gold prices, after initial jobless claims fell more than expected while factory orders eased in March
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