PRECIOUS-Gold gains after U.S. Fed chief calms rate hike jitters

PRECIOUS-Gold gains after U.S. Fed chief calms rate hike jitters

Shafaq News/ Gold prices rose on Wednesday after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell pledged to keep interest rates near zero for some time, although gains were capped by a slight uptick in the dollar as investors waited for further clarity on inflation.

Spot gold was up 0.2% at $1,781.18 per ounce, as of 0420 GMT.

U.S. gold futures gained 0.2% at $1,781.30 per ounce.

“Despite dovish comments from Powell, gold prices have not moved much higher, maybe because of the lingering fear from last week,” said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management.

Gold prices plunged 6% last week after the Fed struck a hawkish tone and brought forward projections for the first post-pandemic interest rate hikes into 2023.

“Gold could be relatively in a range-bound market until we see further update on inflation and employment data,” Innes said.

However, Powell on Tuesday reaffirmed the central bank’s intent to encourage a “broad and inclusive” recovery of the job market, and not raise interest rates too quickly, based only on the fear of coming inflation.

Gold tends to appreciate on expectations of lower interest rates, which reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

Benchmark 10-year Treasuries yields inched lower after Powell’s Congressional testimony.

The dollar index rose 0.1% in the session against its rivals, making gold more expensive for holders of other currencies.

“The rise in ‘dot plot’ projections, showing two policy rate hikes in 2023, shifted the gold market’s focus back towards the tapering timetable,” Standard Chartered analysts said in a note.

“A tapering timetable is still uncertain but is being discussed, which is a downside risk for gold prices.”

Elsewhere, silver climbed 0.8% to $25.95 per ounce, palladium rose 0.8% to $2,578.75. Platinum was up 0.4% at $1,083.01

Source: Reuters

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