prices were lower this morning as traders and investors switched their attention to its great rival as a safe-haven asset, the dollar.
At $1,281.30 an ounce, gold was 0.20% down on yesterday, while the dollar was stronger against the euro and sterling.
Bullion’s fortunes have fluctuated during the past 12 months, but seemed to be brightening at the turn of the year.
Dollar holds firm
From a recent low of $1,239.10 on 17 December, the price climbed to $1,287.20 on 2 January and on to $1,291.50 on 7 January.
But that was to prove the high point to date of the New Year rally and gold went into reverse.
In a flurry of news and commentary in recent days and weeks, factors that supported gold have been met by other factors that undermined it.
When it seemed likely that the US central bank, the Federal Reserve, would soft-pedal on interest-rate rises, gold was given a lift as dollar-denominated assets became less attractive.
Meanwhile, a fall in eurozone unemployment along with hopes of a US-China trade deal made European stocks more attractive and lessened the need for safe-haven assets such as gold.
Spotting a longer-term pattern in the bullion price is tricky, given what amounts to a volatile performance recently. One month ago, on 10 December, it stood at $1,246.80 but this marked a significant rally on the $1,186.40 at which it stood on 10 October, three months ago.
Three key themes for gold in 2019
The 12-monthly picture, however, is very different. Gold traded strongly until mid-April last year, and did not fall below $1,310 an ounce. Its high for the 12 months was on 25 January, at $1,360.25.
Looking for support and resistance points during the last 12 months is problematic because of the very different trading levels at the start of the period compared with the end. During the last three months, it seems gold has found support at $1,200 and resistance at $1,280.
This morning, the was 0.14% higher against the euro at €0.8673 and 0.20% higher against , at £0.7835. Against the it was 0.03% higher at 108.1950 yen.
In its outlook for 2019, the industry body, the World Gold Council wrote: “As we look ahead, we expect that the interplay between market risk and economic growth in 2019 will drive demand.” Three key themes affecting its price performance, said the council, would be financial market instability, monetary policy and the US dollar, and structural economic reforms.