Gold prices inch down on stronger dollar, Fed in focus
Gold prices inch down on stronger dollar, Fed in focus
Gold moves lower as the dollar and rates go higher
20 March, 2018, 14:12
Gold touched its lowest in more than two weeks on Monday as markets remained nervous ahead of a United States central bank meeting that could raise interest rates and signal three more increases this year.
Higher interest rates are negative for gold because they raise bond yields, reducing the appeal of non-yielding bullion, and tend to boost the dollar, making gold more expensive for users of other currencies. As economic indicators continue to point towards to accelerating U.S. growth, there is a risk that Fed Chair Jerome Powell signals a faster pace of hikes at his first meeting.
Meanwhile, the S&P/ASX 200 index traded 0.22 percent lower at 5,912.5 by 02:30 GMT, while at 03:00GMT, the FxWirePro's Hourly AUD Strength Index remained highly bearish at -121.32 (a reading above +75 indicates a bullish trend, while that below -75 a bearish trend). In the previous session, it touched $1,307.51 an ounce, its lowest since March 1.
Globally, gold fell 0.22 per cent to USD 1,313.70 an ounce and silver by 0.15 per cent to USD 16.27 an ounce in Singapore as the dollar firmed, with focus shifting to the US Federal Reserve's policy meeting that kicks off later in the day.
"In gold we're seeing mostly buying on the dip in equities and the fact that traders do believe that the market has priced in a quarter-point increase from the Fed in interest rates", said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.
The two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting begins on Tuesday, with the U.S. central bank expected to raise interest rates for the first time this year on Wednesday.
"I think the overall economic recovery is good enough for the (US) central bank to consider a faster pace of normalization of monetary policies", said Mark To, head of research at Hong Kong's Wing Fung Financial Group. It is expected that 2018 will bring three interest rate hikes from the Fed, including this one.
As gold has fallen, funds have scaled back bets on higher prices, with the net long position in Comex gold falling to around 136,000 contracts from nearly 210,000 in late January.
Similarly, the yellow metal for delivery in far-month June was trading lower by Rs 42, or 0.14 per cent to Rs 30,365 per ten grams in 1 lot.
Platinum rose 0.1 percent to $944.10 per ounce after touching its lowest since January 3 at $939.50.
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