By Paul Ploumis 16 Jul 2015 Last updated at 03:08:42 GMT
(Kitco News) - Gold prices extended early losses and dropped to an eight-month low in the futures market and a four-month low in the cash market Wednesday. Hawkishly construed comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, in her testimony before a U.S. House of Representatives committee, were bearish for the precious metals markets. The U.S. dollar index rallied on Yellen's remarks, which also helped to pressure gold, too. Sell stop orders were triggered in gold futures after prices breached key technical support levels, which added to selling pressure. August Comex gold was last down $6.00 at $1,147.50 an ounce. September Comex silver was last down $0.25 at $15.065 an ounce.
Yellen said the Federal Reserve is on a path to raise U.S. interest rates yet this year, amid improving U.S. economic growth and despite global worries that include the Greece debt crisis and a shaky Chinese stock market. Yellen speaks to the U.S. Senate on Thursday.
Later today the day the Greece parliament votes on whether to accept harsh austerity measures in order to qualify for further financial aid from the International Monetary Fund and European Union. Most expect Greece’s parliament to support the new debt plan that was agreed upon earlier this week. If the parliament does agree to the debt deal’s terms, then the Greek debt crisis will move to the back burner of the market place, for now. The IMF is already questioning whether Greece can uphold some of the economic reforms laid out in the agreement.
China got an upbeat report on its gross domestic product Wednesday. Its second-quarter GDP came in at up 7%, which was above expectations of a 6.8% rise. The better economic growth did help spark a sell-off in China’s stock market, due to concerns China’s central bank will not further ease its monetary policy. Chinese investors are jittery and now wondering if the recent government intervention to prop up equities will prove fleeting. China is the world’s second-largest economy and despite the upbeat GDP figure, there were troubling elements in Wednesday’s economic data that are a concern regarding the pace of China’s future economic growth.
The Bank of Canada cut its key interest rate Wednesday, which was the second reduction of the year. The Canadian dollar weakened against the U.S. dollar on the news.
The London P.M. gold fix is $1,147.40 versus the previous A.M. fix of $1,154.75.
Courtesy: Kitco News