PRECIOUS-China stimulus, US rate cut bets lift gold, silver soars above $30 mark

BY Reuters | ECONOMIC | 05/17/24 11:15 AM EDT


Gold up 2% so far for the week


Silver breaks above $30/oz milestone, up 9% this week


Platinum gains 8% this week

(Recasts as of 1443 GMT)

By Harshit Verma

May 17 (Reuters) -

Gold prices, aided by China's stimulus measures, looked poised to clock their second consecutive weekly gain on Friday on renewed hopes for U.S. interest rate cuts, with silver breaking the $30 barrier to hit an 11-year high.

Spot gold rose 1.3% to $2,407.65 per ounce by 1443 GMT, its highest since April 19. U.S. gold futures rose 1.2% to $2,412.10.

"Gold is moving higher despite of (an uptick in) the dollar and yields. I think in this instance, China stimulus has helped as we're also seeing other (base) metals do very well," said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategies at TD Securities.

The market was lifted after China announced

"historic" steps

to stabilise the crisis-hit property sector, a major consumer of industrial metals as well as gold.

Bullion prices are up 2% so far this week.

"Ultimately gold is responding to the idea that the consumer price inflation (CPI) is probably under control..any talk of a prolonged period of high interest rates is going to be mitigated," Melek said.

Traders expect roughly two quarter-point cuts from the Fed this year, with November being the most likely starting point.

Lower interest rates tend to boost non-yielding bullion's appeal.

In the physical market, dealers were offering lower premiums in China and deeper discounts in India this week.

Meanwhile, silver and platinum got support from higher prices for gold and base metals.

"Anytime we're talking about China stimulating, that is accretive for platinum markets," Melek said.

Spot silver rose 3.6% to $30.66 per ounce after breaking above a major resistance level of $30. The last time silver hit the $30 price level was in early 2021, but sustaining it for an extended period has eluded silver for more than a decade.

Platinum added 1.8% to $1,076.05, after hitting a one-year high on Thursday. The metal is up 8% so far this week due to continued structural deficits.

Palladium rose 1.3% to $1,006.95.

In general the bond market is volatile, and fixed income securities carry interest rate risk. (As interest rates rise, bond prices usually fall, and vice versa. This effect is usually more pronounced for longer-term securities.) Fixed income securities also carry inflation risk and credit and default risks for both issuers and counterparties. Unlike individual bonds, most bond funds do not have a maturity date, so avoiding losses caused by price volatility by holding them until maturity is not possible.

Lower-quality debt securities generally offer higher yields, but also involve greater risk of default or price changes due to potential changes in the credit quality of the issuer. Any fixed income security sold or redeemed prior to maturity may be subject to loss.

Before investing, consider the funds' investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Contact Fidelity for a prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus containing this information. Read it carefully.