Metals Stocks: Gold lower, at risk for a third straight session loss

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Gold saw muted trade early Thursday, with the yellow metal on track to edge lower for a third straight session as global stocks tipped higher.

Action was more subdued a day after a fresh round of global trade-war worries sent assets perceived as risky swooning and the dollar rallying.

August gold
GCQ8, +0.00%
 slipped by $1, or less than 0.1%, at $1,243.50 an ounce, after losing 0.9% on Wednesday, marking its lowest settlement since July 2 for a most-active contract. A popular fund tracking gold, the SPDR Gold Shares
GLD, -1.08%
meanwhile, is on track to fall by more than 1% so far this week, with gold futures set for a similar weekly slump.

In recent weeks, the dollar has been the most significant influence for bullion, market participants say. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index
DXY, +0.15%
a measure of the buck against a half-dozen monetary units, climbed firmly on Wednesday and is on pace to post a weekly rise of 0.8%.

A stronger dollar can make assets linked to the currency relatively more expensive to buyers using other monetary units.

An escalation of tensions between the U.S. and its trading partners across the globe was widely viewed as jolting the buck, which has been viewed as least vulnerable to the negative impact of tariff disputes, solidly higher. President Donald Trump has proposed 10% tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports, coming a week after the global superpowers placed equal tariffs of 25% on some $34 billion one another’s imports. The move is seen as deepening the rift with Beijing and sending a message to other trading partners that the U.S. won’t back down in a trade fight.

Against a backdrop of a mostly rising dollar, gold has assumed bearish trend lower, market watchers say.

“Gold tried to bottom, but it just doesn’t look healthy right now,” wrote technical analyst Stephen Todd of Todd Market Forecast in a Wednesday research note.

Fears of a spillover effect from intensifying trade disputes as more severely hurt industrial metals, which tend to slide amid angst that a tit-for-tat spat over import duties could hurt global economies.

September copper
HGU8, +0.67%
was up 0.9% 2.768 a pound after plunging by 3.4% to a close for the lowest finish since late July 2017. The metal, colloquially known as Dr. Copper, due to its importance in technology and constructing buildings, is set for a weekly decline of about 2%.

Meanwhile, September silver
SIU8, +0.46%
which dually serves as a precious and industrial metal, tipped 5 cents, or 0.3%, higher at $15.860, a day after marking its lowest most-active contract finish year to date.

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