Gold Edges Lower to Start the Week; U.S. Government Shutdown in Focus

Gold prices edged lower to start the week on Monday, as investors took a relatively calm view of the partial shutdown of the U.S. federal government.

Comex gold futures were at $1,331.10 a troy ounce by 3:20AM ET (0820GMT), down around $2.00, or 0.2%, from the last session’s closing price.

Meanwhile, silver futures inched down 3.6 cents, or 0.2%, to $17.00 a troy ounce.

The U.S. government shutdown entered a third day after the Senate failed to reach a deal Sunday night to fund government operations.

But the Senate plans to vote at 12:00PM ET Monday (1700GMT) on a temporary spending measure that will keep the government open through Feb. 8.

Lawmakers have been trying to reach a deal on immigration, which is viewed as crucial to breaking the deadlock.

This is the first U.S. government shutdown since 2013. That year, the government was shut down for 16 days.

The dollar’s index against a basket of six other major currencies was slightly lower at 90.33, not far from the three-year trough of 89.96 set last year.

Looking to the week ahead, global financial markets will focus on the European Central Bank’s meeting for further details on when the central bank plans to end its massive economic stimulus program.

Meanwhile, investors will keep an eye on a preliminary reading of fourth-quarter U.S. growth to gauge if the world’s largest economy is strong enough to withstand multiple rate hikes in 2018.

The majority of economists believe that the Fed will hike rates in March, followed by another hike in June, with a third move higher arriving in December, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

Gold is highly sensitive to rising rates, which increase the opportunity cost of holding nonyielding bullion.

Another headliner this week will be the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, taking place Tuesday-to-Friday, where U.S. President Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May are all expected to be in attendance.

In other metals action, palladium prices inched up 0.1% to $1,099.70 an ounce.

Sister metal platinum meanwhile added 0.1% to $1,021.00 an ounce.

March copper tacked on 0.8% to $3.214 a pound.

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