Global gold prices ease on outlook for US rate hikes
Bengaluru: Gold prices inched down on Tuesday amid expectations for more US interest rate hikes this year.
Spot gold was down 0.2% at $1,317.86 an ounce by 12.28pm. Last week, prices touched their strongest since 15 September at $1,325.86. US gold futures were down 0.1% at $1,318.80 an ounce.
The dollar hit a more than one-week high against a basket of other major currencies on Monday. It was steady at $92.342 on Tuesday.
Investors are betting on further US interest rate hikes after Friday’s payrolls data did nothing to challenge the outlook for monetary policy tightening by the US Federal Reserve. Atlanta Fed president Raphael Bostic, who is a voting member of the central bank’s policy board, said on Monday that two hikes might be needed in 2018, in light of weak price pressures.
“Gold will be under pressure (in the short term) as the dollar will strengthen on U.S. tax reforms and rate hike expectations,” said Ji Ming, chief analyst at Shandong Gold Group.“However, the market will get used to the rate hike expectations soon and the dollar will lose its strength, pushing gold higher,” Ming added. “We can expect prices to go past 2017 highs in the second half of 2018.”
Gold is highly sensitive to rising US interest rates, as these increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.
Spot gold may test resistance at $1,329 per ounce, as suggested by a Fibonacci retracement analysis and a triangle, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
“Gold should see resistance at the recent low of $1,315 and the psychological $1,300 level below that,” said MKS PAMP Group trader Tim Brown. “On the upside, a break above last week’s high of $1,324 could see the yellow metal make a move on the September top of $1,355.”
Among other precious metals, spot silver fell 0.3% to $17.08 an ounce.Platinum dropped 0.8% to $964.35, after hitting a 3-1/2 month peak on Monday at $973.60. Palladium was up 0.7% at $1,108.22, after marking a record high at $1,111.40 an ounce. Reuters
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