Gold treads lower ahead of Fed minutes, Energy & Commodities

[BENGALURU] Gold prices tread lower on Wednesday as the US dollar steadied, with investors awaiting minutes from the US Federal Reserve’s last meeting in July for clues on the pace of potential interest rate hikes.

Spot gold had slipped 0.2 per cent to US$1,269.11 per ounce by 0712 GMT, following two sessions of falls.

US gold futures for December delivery were down about 0.4 per cent at US$1,274.90 an ounce.

Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting are due later in the day.

“The bullish US dollar is shifting the focus away from the safe havens,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets.

“The increasing odds of the US interest rate hike could push the gold price below the US$1,250 level and this could happen if the upcoming FOMC minutes deliver some hawkish tone.” Higher interest rates could boost the US dollar, making commodities priced in the greenback more expensive for holders of other currencies.

The US dollar index was little changed at 93.895.

The US dollar hoarded hefty gains on Wednesday after strong US retail sales revived the chance of another Federal Reserve rate hike this year, while Asia stocks inched ahead as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un delayed a decision on firing missiles towards Guam.

“We probably saw some of the selling (in gold) that came in as tensions eased between North Korea and the United States become a bit overdone. Certainly, the underlying issues that started emerging last week are far from evaporated,” said ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes.

Spot gold may test a resistance at US$1,278 per ounce, a break above which could lead to a gain to the next resistance at US$1,286, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said.

Among other precious metals, silver was up 0.1 per cent at US$16.61 per ounce and platinum rose 0.26 per cent to US$959.50 per ounce.

Palladium was mostly unchanged at US$885.25 after touching its lowest in over a week earlier in the session.


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