Gold near one-month peak as yields, equities slide

(Reuters) – Gold prices were steady on Tuesday and hovered near one-month high hit in the previous session, as demand for safe-haven assets improved after treasury yields and equities fell on possible U.S. recession and global growth concerns.

FILE PHOTO: Gold bars at the Austrian Gold and Silver Separating Plant ‘Oegussa’ in Vienna, Austria, March 18, 2016. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo

FUNDAMENTALS

Spot gold was unchanged at $1,321.74 per ounce as of 0123 GMT, after touching its highest since Feb. 28 at $1,324.33 in the previous session.

U.S. gold futures were also down 0.1 percent at $1,320.70 an ounce.

Asian shares were shaky on Tuesday after U.S. Treasury yields sank to their lowest since late 2017, further below short-term interest rates and adding to fears of a U.S. recession.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields fell to their lowest levels since December 2017 on Monday while the yield curve inverted further as investors evaluated last week’s dovish pivot by the Federal Reserve.

Germany’s benchmark 10-year bond yield slid back into negative territory on Monday as worries over Brexit saw investors rushing for safe haven assets, tempering the impact of a surprise rise in business sentiment which lifted yields earlier in the session.

German business morale improved unexpectedly in March after six consecutive drops, a survey showed on Monday, suggesting that Europe’s largest economy is likely to pick up in the coming months after it narrowly avoided a recession last year.

British lawmakers wrested control of the parliamentary agenda from the government for a day in a highly unusual bid to find a way through the Brexit impasse after Prime Minister Theresa May’s EU divorce deal was rejected again.

Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans said on Monday it was understandable for markets to be nervous when the yield curve flattened, though he was still confident about the U.S. economic growth outlook.

The U.S.-China trade war poses the biggest risk to global stability and fiscal stabilisation is needed to respond to economic shocks in Europe, IMF First Deputy Managing Director David Lipton said on Monday.

South Africa’s gold and platinum mines will shed around 90,000 jobs in the next three years as above-inflation electricity price increases by power utility Eskom add to already soaring operating costs, an industry body said on Monday.

Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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