Metals Stocks: Gold prices fall, with strength in the dollar pulling prices below $1,700 an ounce

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Gold prices fell on Monday, as the dollar strengthened to start the week, amid concerns about tensions between the U.S. and China.

Investors also watched COVID-19 infections, as businesses reopen domestically and elsewhere in the world, with the potential for a climb in cases likely limiting losses for the haven metal.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump’s administration is planning to issue a warning that hackers tied to the Chinese government are attempting to steal data from U.S. researchers developing a coronavirus vaccine, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

The charge comes as Sino-American tensions have flared up lately, with Trump on Friday saying during a Fox News interview that he was unsure if he should cancel a partial trade deal between Washington and Beijing forged in January.

“The rise in the U.S. dollar has pushed gold into the red,” said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK. Prices for the metal, however, haven’t “moved much below the $1,700 mark, and that is possibly because of the selloff in stocks.”

“Some traders are nervous about the prospect of a second wave of Covid-19 as economies begin to re-open, so that has probably prevented gold from falling further,” he said in a market update.

On Comex, June gold GCM20, -0.99% fell $17.10, or 1%, at $1,696.80 an ounce, after the most-active contract for gold saw a weekly rise of almost 0.8% put in on Friday.

“Bulls’ next upside price objective is to produce a close in June futures above solid resistance at the April high of $1,788.80,” wrote Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco.com, in a Monday research note.

“Technically, the gold bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage amid an uptrend on the daily bar chart,” he said. “Bears’ next near-term downside price objective is pushing futures prices below solid technical support at $1,666.20,” he added.

Meanwhile, July silver SIN20, -1.19% was down 16.8 cents, or 1.1%, at $15.61 an ounce, following a weekly rally of nearly 6% for silver futures, according to FactSet data.

A measure of the dollar against a half-dozen currency rivals was up 0.5% at 100.22 on Monday, as gauged by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, +0.53%.

China’s central bank tweaked the wording of its first-quarter monetary policy report, with analysts suggesting the People’s Bank of China would aim to further stimulate the economy. The second-largest economy has been trying to restart its economy for weeks, after the viral pandemic was first identified in Wuhan, China.

Among other Comex metals Monday, July copper HGN20, -1.43% traded at $2.3745 a pound, down 1.3%. July platinum PLN20, -1.26% fell by 1.4% to $778.50 an ounce, but June PAM20, +0.57% tacked on 0.9% to $1,837.70 an ounce.

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