LAUNCESTON, Australia (Reuters) – Gold bulls must be wondering what needs to happen for them to catch a break, as recent positive demand numbers from top consumers India and China were blown away by the crisis gripping Turkey.
Spot gold dropped to as low as $1,191.35 an ounce during Monday’s trade, the lowest since January 2017 and taking the precious metal’s year-to-date loss to around 8.4 percent.
The latest travail for gold is to be found in Turkey’s currency crisis, which saw the lira plummet as much as 18 percent against the U.S. dollar on Aug. 10, taking its losses for the year to more than 40 percent.
The catalyst for the plunge at the end of last week was an escalation of a dispute with U.S. President Donald Trump, in which he doubled the tariff on imports of steel and aluminium from his country’s erstwhile ally in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
Turkey isn’t a major consumer of gold, but it still bought 21.6 tonnes in the second quarter of this year, and it was the fifth-biggest buyer in the year to the end of June, according to data from the World Gold Council.