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Fundamentals and News
Return of Brexit Fears Helps Send Gold to Best Quarter in a Year
Angst over possible fallout from Brexit has crept back into the market, helping send gold toward its biggest quarterly gain in a year.
Prime Minister Theresa May set the U.K. on course for leaving the European Union in two years, weakening the pound and bolstering demand for bullion as a haven. Gold priced in sterling rose to the highest in almost four weeks Wednesday, while bullion futures traded in New York headed for the best quarter since the first three months of 2016.
Battle lines are becoming evident nine months after Britons unexpectedly voted to quit the EU.May’s actions trigger two years of talks and come days after the failure of a U.S. health-care bill stoked concerns about prospects for the Trump administration’s economic agenda.
“Traders do not believe that the U.K.’s economy will fare well as negotiations start,” said Naeem Aslam, the chief market analyst at Think Markets U.K. Ltd. “We are seeing more interest in gold. Traders want to hedge themselves.”
Spot gold gained 0.3 percent to 1,008.50 pounds per ounce at 7:09 p.m. in London, according to Bloomberg generic price. Bullion in sterling is on course for an 8.5 percent rally this quarter, the best such performance since the second quarter of 2016.
On the Comex in New York, gold futures priced in dollars are poised for an 9.1 percent gain this quarter, the biggest since March 2016. The metal for June delivery slipped 0.2 percent on Wednesday.
Spot silver priced in pounds and dollars is set for the steepest quarterly advance since June, while palladium and platinum priced in dollars are also poised for quarterly gains.
Exchange-traded funds tracking semiconductors, Brazil, technology, banks and gold and uranium miners are exhibiting the strongest momentum, according to a Bloomberg Intelligence ranking. Value characteristics are greatest for ETFs following sectors such as energy, Italy and mortgage REITs. Financial and Russia ETFs scored high on both measures. Momentum investing seeks to capitalize on investors' tendency to buy securities that are rising. Value investors look for assets that may be undervalued.
The momentum ranking is based on three- and 12-month returns, excluding the past month. ETFs with high returns during those periods tend to continue outperforming for the next few months. The value screen ranks ETFs with the lowest price-to-book ratio.
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