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  • Gold gains more than $50 in December and nearly $250 in 2019.
  • Year-end flows continue to dominate markets on Tuesday.
  • US Dollar Index stays below 96.50 ahead of CB Consumer Confidence Index data.

The XAU/USD pair rose to its highest level in more than three months at $1525 earlier in the day and retraced a small portion of its last rally of 2019 in the second half of the day. As of writing, the pair was up 0.4% on the day at $1521. For the month, the troy ounce of the precious metal added more than $50 and gained nearly $250 since the start of the year, largest one-year increase since 2010.

Escalating geopolitical tensions in the Middle East with Iraqi protestors marching to the US embassy in Baghdad following the airstrikes in Iraq and Syria weighed on the market sentiment on Tuesday and helped the safe-haven gold find demand.

USD looks to end 2019 on a weak note

Moreover, the year-end flows continued to weigh on the greenback to allow the bullish momentum to remain intact. After erasing 0.3% on Monday, the US  Dollar Index struggled to stage a rebound and was last down 0.35% on the day at 96.40. The last data release of the year from the US will be the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index but it’s unlikely to receive a dramatic market reaction on New Year’s Eve.

Technical levels to watch for