Metals Stocks: Gold declines as stocks head higher, dollar drifts higher

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Markets/commodities reporter

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Gold prices fell Tuesday, following gains in the last two sessions, as stocks headed higher on the back of upbeat earnings and the dollar drifted a bit higher, with news on the geopolitical front quiet for now.

June gold GCM8, -0.33% eased back by $6.70, or 0.5%, to $1,344 an ounce, giving back all of Monday’s 0.2% gain. Gold tallied a rise of roughly 0.8% last week, after ending Wednesday at the highest finish since late January. May silver SIK8, +0.38% traded little changed at to $16.675 an ounce.

Gold coins and bars displayed in Singapore

“The safe-haven metals are pressured by more robust trader and investor risk appetite in the marketplace…as evidenced by rallying world equities markets,” said Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco.com, in a daily note.

The SPDR Gold Shares GLD, -0.16% fell 0.3%, but the iShares Silver Trust SLV, +0.38%  edged up by 0.3%, while the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners GDX, +0.29%  rose 0.4%.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, +0.23% which measures the greenback against six major rivals, rose 0.2% at 89.60.

Stocks rose Monday, and continued higher Tuesday, on a relief rally pinned on hopes the U.S. may not be dragged into a deeper conflict with Syrian allies Russia and Iran. Investors also focused on some upbeat earnings reports.

Read: Russian sanctions could fuel another aluminum rally

Read: Global economic growth was a blessing and curse for 2017 silver demand

Elsewhere, U.S. and U.K. officials warned that Russia has increased cyberattacks on American and British companies and government agencies. Relations between the three countries have been strained since the U.S., France and Britain launched missile attacks on the chemical-weapons facilities of the Russian-supported Syrian government.

A lack of escalation in the trade tensions between China and the U.S. has also emboldened investors. That confidence may take a knock on news the U.S. is searching for ways to retaliate against Beijing for its measures restricting access for American tech companies to the Chinese market.

Several Fed officials were lined up to speak in public on Tuesday, including San Francisco Fed President John Williams, who has said he backs three or four gradual interest rate rises this year and Fed Vice Chair for Financial Supervision Randal Quarles.

Three nonvoting Fed members were also on the docket: Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker, Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan and Chicago Fed President Charles Evans.

Among economic data released Tuesday, U.S. housing starts ran at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.32 million in March, up 2% compared with February. Industrial production in March rose 0.5% and capacity utilization edged up to 78%—the highest rate in three years.

International Monetary Fund on Tuesday lifted its U.S. growth estimate for 2018 to 2.9% and its 2019 estimate to 2.7%.

In other metals trading, May copper HGK8, -0.50%  traded at $3.072 a pound, down 0.8%. July platinum PLN8, +0.54%  added less than 0.1% to $932.30 an ounce, while June palladium PAM8, -1.19%  shed 1.6% to $988.10 an ounce after a 2.3% rise Monday.

“China’s annual economic growth came in at 6.8% in the first quarter, which was slightly higher than expected and on pace with 2017’s gross domestic product growth rate,” said Kitco.com’s Wyckoff. “This is good news for precious metals market bulls, as China is a major metals importer.”

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