Precious metals rise on weaker dollar

Kathmandu, December 31

Precious metals ended the year 2016 in the positive territory on a weaker dollar, with gold price up 1.92 per cent and silver up two per cent in the week between December 25 and 30.

Recapping the year 2016, investors increased gold exposure in the first half of the year as the Federal Reserve showed caution on raising interest rates due to concerns about global growth, while Britain’s vote to leave the European Union curbed appetite for risk and pushed the metal to a  two-year high in July.

But gold prices fell more than eight per cent in the international market in November, on higher US Treasury yields after Donald Trump’s election win led to speculation his commitment to infrastructure spending would spur growth.

Bullion then hit a 10-month low on December 15 as solid US economic data gave the Fed the confidence to raise rates for the first time in a year. The central bank signalled three more increases next year from the previous projection of two.

“In 2017, we could see more weakness in the gold price because of the three projected rate increases by the Fed, which would lead to a stronger dollar,” Reuters quoted Peter Fertig, owner of Quantitative Commodity Research, as saying. “On the other hand, though, uncertainty about political alliances between US President-elect Trump and international players could create some geopolitical fractures, which would be positive for gold.”

The precious metal is often seen as a hedge against geopolitical risks.

The price of precious metals in the domestic market is governed by the rates set in the international markets.

Gold was priced at Rs 52,000 per tola on Sunday and it was traded at the same rate in the next two days. On Wednesday, bullion price surged by Rs 400 a tola to be traded at Rs 52,400 per tola. The price of the precious yellow metal went up by Rs 300 a tola on both Thursday and Friday to close the week at Rs 53,000 per tola — a gain of Rs 1,000 a tola during the course of five trading days.

Similarly, silver was traded at Rs 750 per tola on Sunday and its price remained constant over the next two days. On Wednesday, the price of the white metal went up by Rs 10 a tola to be priced at Rs 760 per tola. On Thursday, silver price edged up by five rupees a tola to be traded at Rs 765 per tola and its price was unchanged on Friday. Over the week, the price of the white metal went up by Rs 15 a tola.