By Rachel Koning Beals
Gold futures tipped lower Thursday, tracking a firmer dollar, with the market drawing limited fresh enthusiasm from a closely watched industry report that showed strong investment demand for precious metals in the first half of the year.
December gold GCZ6, +0.38% slipped $1.10, or 0.1%, to $1,350.80 an ounce. Silver for September delivery SIU6, +0.20% was unchanged at $20.17 an ounce.
In reaction, the exchange-traded fund SPDR Gold Trust GLD, +0.32% eased 0.2% ahead of the bell, and the silver ETF iShares Silver Trust SLV, +0.18% gave up 0.1%, while the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF GDX, +1.09% fell 0.4% premarket.
The latest industry data showed underlying demand for gold in the face of scant yield in other so-called safety investments.
“The global picture for gold is dominated by considerable and continued investment demand driven by the west as investors rebalance their investments in response to the ever-expanding pool of negative yielding government bonds and heightened political and economic uncertainty,” Alistair Hewitt, head of market intelligence at the World Gold Council, said in response to the latest report.
According to WGC, for the first half the year, investment demand for gold, which includes bars and coins and demand from exchange-traded funds, reached 1,063.9 metric tons. That was up 16% from the previous first-half-of-the-year record in 2009 and accounted for almost half of the overall gold demand during the first six months of 2016.
Total gold demand, which includes the metal used in jewelry manufacturing and the industrial sector, reached 2,335 metric tons in the first six months of the year, the group said.