Gold Slips from Record Levels as Dollar Holds Ground

A jeweller shows a gold bar at his shop in downtown Kuwait City on May 20, 2024. (Photo by YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP)
A jeweller shows a gold bar at his shop in downtown Kuwait City on May 20, 2024. (Photo by YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP)
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Gold Slips from Record Levels as Dollar Holds Ground

A jeweller shows a gold bar at his shop in downtown Kuwait City on May 20, 2024. (Photo by YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP)
A jeweller shows a gold bar at his shop in downtown Kuwait City on May 20, 2024. (Photo by YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP)

Gold prices eased on Tuesday as the US dollar firmed, the metal backing away from a record peak hit in the previous session as a fusion of bullish factors including growing US rate cut bets and geopolitical risks drove safe-haven demand.
Spot gold was down 0.6% at $2,410.73 per ounce, as of 0335 GMT after hitting a record high of $2440.49 on Monday.
US gold futures fell 1% at $2,414.00, Reuters reported.
The dollar rose 0.1% making greenback-priced bullion less attractive to buyers holding other currencies.
Lower interest rates and geopolitical uncertainty make bullion a favorable investment.
"The market expectations of interest rate cuts starting this year has gone up a bit with the cooling inflation numbers that came in last week and on the other side, geopolitical risks played a major role in pushing gold prices to a fresh record high," said ANZ commodity strategist Soni Kumari.
"China buying has been exceptional in the first quarter with their bar and coin demand being very strong, recording its highest since 2017 and these factors are offsetting the investment outflows in ETFs (exchange traded funds) and pushing prices higher."
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was killed when his helicopter crashed in poor weather in mountains near the Azerbaijan border on Sunday.
Minutes of the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting due on Wednesday along with comments from a slew of Fed speakers will be keenly awaited this week.
Spot silver fell 1.5% to $31.35 an ounce after hitting a more than 11-year high in the last session.
"Silver is the beta for gold, investors are attracted to silver because fundamentals are very strong coupled with growing industrial demand and it's a cheaper alternative to gold," Kumari said.
Platinum lost 1.1% to $1,035.15, after hitting its highest since May 12, 2023 on Monday. Palladium dropped 1.8% to $1,008.91.



Saudi Aramco, NextDecade Sign 20-year LNG Supply Deal

At the signing ceremony, from left: NextDecade Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Schatzman, Aramco Upstream President Nasir K. Al-Naimi, and Aramco Executive Vice President of Gas Abdulkarim Al-Ghamdi. Photo: Aramco website
At the signing ceremony, from left: NextDecade Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Schatzman, Aramco Upstream President Nasir K. Al-Naimi, and Aramco Executive Vice President of Gas Abdulkarim Al-Ghamdi. Photo: Aramco website
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Saudi Aramco, NextDecade Sign 20-year LNG Supply Deal

At the signing ceremony, from left: NextDecade Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Schatzman, Aramco Upstream President Nasir K. Al-Naimi, and Aramco Executive Vice President of Gas Abdulkarim Al-Ghamdi. Photo: Aramco website
At the signing ceremony, from left: NextDecade Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Schatzman, Aramco Upstream President Nasir K. Al-Naimi, and Aramco Executive Vice President of Gas Abdulkarim Al-Ghamdi. Photo: Aramco website

Saudi Aramco and US liquefied natural gas (LNG) provider NextDecade announced on Thursday that their respective subsidiaries have executed a non-binding Heads of Agreement (HoA) for a 20-year liquefied natural gas sale and purchase agreement (LNG SPA) for offtake from Train 4 at the Rio Grande LNG Facility at the Port of Brownsville, Texas.

Under the terms of the HoA, Aramco expects to purchase 1.2 million tons per annum (MTPA) of LNG for 20 years on a free-on-board basis at a price indexed to Henry Hub. Aramco and NextDecade are currently in the process of negotiating a binding agreement, and once executed, the effectiveness of which will be subject to a positive Final Investment Decision on Train 4.

"We look forward to finalizing the terms of a long-term LNG offtake agreement with NextDecade as we explore opportunities to expand our presence in international energy markets,” said Aramco Upstream President Nasir K. Al-Naimi.

“We expect LNG to play an important role in meeting the rising demand for secure and efficient energy,” he added.

NextDecade Chairman and CEO Matt Schatzman said: “We are pleased to have reached a Heads of Agreement with Aramco for LNG from Train 4, as Aramco seeks to expand its LNG portfolio. We look forward to finalizing the LNG SPA with Aramco and to pursuing other opportunities together.”