Gold Up 1% , Boosted by US Govt Shutdown, Mnuchin Move on Banks

0 – The partial U.S. government shutdown and growing worries of a global recession seem to be taking gold slowly but more surely toward the $1,300 per ounce level targeted by precious metals bulls.

Comex gold futures settled up $13.70, or almost 1%, at $1,271.80 a troy ounce. It was the sixth higher close in seven sessions for the yellow metal.

The precious metal hit a six-month high of $1,273.90, a level last seen since June, when it hovered at $1,300 levels.

Risk aversion was widespread across markets on Christmas Eve, bolstering gold’s standing as a safe-haven.

On Wall Street, theDow fell almost 3%, while the S&P 500 lost about 2.64%, moving closer to bear market territory on concerns about Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin raising the question of bank liquidity.

Oil prices, meanwhile, fell nearly 7 percent, bringing the 10-week rout in U.S. crude to 45%

Reports over the weekend that Trump has privately discussed the possibility of firing Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, whom he appointed, also added to gold’s standing as an hedge against financial and political troubles.

Mnuchin has, however, tried to defuse the Powell situation, saying in a tweet that Trump told him he had “never suggested firing” the Fed chairman

The Fed lifted rates for the fourth time this year last week and kept most of its guidance for additional hikes over the next two years, drawing the ire of Trump, who has repeatedly attacked the Fed’s tightening as damaging to the economy.

In other precious metals on COMEX, silver futures rose 0.9% to $14.84 a troy ounce.

Palladium gained 1.2% to $1,172.80 per ounce, while sister metal platinum shed 0.9% to $788.40.

In base metals, COMEX copper fell 0.5% to $2.66 per pound.

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