Gold futures headed higher Monday morning as weakness in the U.S. dollar helped to prop up the yellow metal ahead of a policy update from the Federal Reserve due in the middle of the week and a U.K. general election that could roil markets.
February gold GCG20, +0.10% on Comex picked up $3.70, or 0.3%, to trade at $1,468.90 an ounce, after declining 0.5% last week. March silver SIH20, +0.36%, meanwhile, added 8 cents, or 0.5%, at $16.680 an ounce, following a weekly decline of 3%, according to FactSet data.
On Monday precious metals, after sinking hotter-than-expected U.S. jobs report on Friday, appeared to be at least partly buoyed by economic reports out of China that showed that the world’s second-largest economy continued to be hurt by trade conflicts and a global economic slowdown.
China trade data showed that exports to the U.S. had fallen 23% year-over-year in November. More broadly, exports to all countries fell 1.1% year-over-year.
Meanwhile, the dollar, as measured by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, -0.10%, was down 0.1% on Monday, following a retreat 0.6% last week. The index gauges the buck against a half-dozen currencies, with weakness in the dollar usually helping to support gains in assets priced in bucks because it makes those assets less expensive to buyers using other monetary units.
Weakness in the dollar came as the British pound GBPUSD, +0.0533% ticked higher ahead of U.K. elections on Thursday, with weekend polls indicating that Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party will have a strong outcome, as he attempts to push Britain out of the European Union.
Before that general election, the Fed will host its last meeting of 2019, though the central bank is expected to stand pat this week, commodity investors will look at the gathering of the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee to garner more direction about interest-rate policy and economic stimulus.