By Myra P. Saefong and Rachel Koning Beals
Gold futures managed to settle with a modest gain Thursday, during a rocky trading session that saw prices touch their lowest levels in about a month.
Weakness in the dollar and U.S. equities and expectations of accommodative central-bank policies combined to nudge gold prices higher.
August gold GCQ6, +1.05% tacked on $11.70, or 0.9%, to settle at $1,331 an ounce. It saw a wide range of trading between a high of $1,332.30 and a low of $1,310.70, the weakest intraday price since June 23, according to FactSet data. It had settled Wednesday with a loss of 1% at $1,319.30. That close came just a day after gold marked its highest finish in nearly a week.
Gold held its early gains after the European Central Bank took expected inaction on interest rates but said it would keep up its bond-buying stimulus. The metal then took a dip lower and climbed again.
“The precious metal is volatile due to the quantitative-easing hopes,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at ThinkMarkets. Both the Bank of England and the European Central Bank have delayed further easing measures, and speculation that the Bank of Japan may not offer any “helicopter money has also brought immense volatility,” he said.
For now, weakness in the U.S. dollar DXY, -0.22% supported gold, as did declines in the U.S. stock market Thursday. Dollar and stock weakness can boost demand for relatively lower-risk precious metals including gold and silver.