Purchase of gold among private investors rebounded in June as prices fell to their lowest in the last 18 months. The precious metals had its worst monthly price drop last Friday, falling 4.2 percent across the month.
Gold further drifted lower on Thursday in the US, despite a weaker dollar and investors worried that US Federal Reserve minutes would highlight the prospect of further rate hikes.
The number of investors selling the metal on BullionVault, a large trading platform for gold and silver retreated 44.7 percent from May’s, new entrants and existing holders adding to their gold holdings grew by 10.0 percent.
That jointly drove Gold Investor Index up from May’s 9-month low of 52.4 to 2018’s highest reading at 54.8, with the strongest month-on-month jump since September.
A measure of private-investor activity in physical bullion, the Gold Investor Index tracks behaviour among the western world’s largest pool of private precious-metal investors.
Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,252 an ounce as the metal touched a one-week high of $1,261 in the previous session and gained over $20 from Tuesday’s low of $1,237, its weakest since December 12.
The US gold futures for August delivery were slightly changed, up 0.03 percent at $1,253 an ounce, just as the dollar index fell to its lowest level in more than a week while the euro climbed half a percent to near three-week highs following strong German data.
“Gold is not making huge headway even though we’re in a slightly weaker dollar environment. The market is very much in a wait-and-see mode ahead of the Fed minutes,” said Jonathan Butler, commodities analyst at Mitsubishi in London.
Gold is highly sensitive to rising interest rates, as these increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which the metal is priced.
Investors are also awaiting the US ADP labour market report on Thursday and non-farm payrolls and unemployment data on Friday.
“One would not like to have any bullish bets on gold when the labour market trend is strong,” Naeem Aslam, ThinkMarkets chief market analyst said.
Among other precious metals, silver shed 0.8 percent to $15.92 an ounce. Palladium dipped 0.1 percent to $945 an ounce, while platinum edged up 0.1 percent at $840.50 an ounce.