Metals Stocks: Gold struggles to hold $1,500 mark as U.S. dollar trades at a roughly 2-year high

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Gold prices struggled to hold ground at the key $1,500-an-ounce mark on Friday, headed for a weekly loss, with the metal failing to find haven-related support as the U.S. dollar touched its highest level in more than two years.

Gold for December delivery GCZ19, -1.02% on Comex declined $13.40, or 0.9%, to $1,501.80 an ounce after trading as low as $1,492.30. Prices for the most-active contract were down roughly 0.9% for the week. December silver SIZ19, -2.33%  was off 39.7 cents, or 2.2%, at $17.515 an ounce, poised for a weekly loss of 1.8%.

The metal, a traditional haven, has lost ground despite a new round of U.S. political drama. A whistleblower report released on Thursday alleged that President Donald Trump attempted to coerce Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden, and that White House officials acted to cover up his actions. The controversy around the report prompted House Democrats this week to launch a formal impeachment inquiry. Indeed, markets overall have seen only a fleeting impact overall.

“The market does not really care about the impeachment process currently, because Trump should easily have support from the senate,” said James Hatzigiannis, senior strategist at Long Leaf Trading Group.

“The metals market is more keen on the very strong U.S. dollar, which reached a new high for 2019 and has had the biggest influence on the price of gold the past couple days,” he said.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, -0.04%, a measure of the U.S. currency against a basket of six major rivals, was little changed at 99.122 but holding near a more-than-two-year high. The index is up 0.6% this week.

Still, “this is a great buying point for gold right now as you have a huge amount of gold [exchange-traded fund] inflows the past couple of days, strong Chinese demand reported…central banks cutting rates, continuous global economic reports indicating a slowdown, and I do not see a China/U.S. trade deal happening anytime soon,” said Hatzigiannis. “There is still to much uncertainty globally.”

Gold remains up more than 17% in the year to date, with gains tied by many analysts to escalations in the U.S.-China trade war and other geopolitical tensions.

In other metals trade, January platinum PLF20, -0.35%  fell 1.2% to $924.90 an ounce, on track for a weekly loss of 1.9%, while December palladium PAZ19, +1.14%  shed 0.2% to $1,639.10 an ounce, trading 0.9% higher for the week.

December copper futures HGZ19, +1.14%  were up 0.9% at $2.5995 a pound, paring its weekly loss to around 0.3%.

The SPDR Gold Shares ETF GLD, -0.81%  traded down 0.8%, contributing to a weekly decline of 1.6%.