Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

Bengaluru — Gold was little changed on Wednesday, with market activity largely subdued ahead of the US central bank’s economic policy statement and a fast-approaching tariffs deadline, while palladium hovered close to previous session’s record.

Spot gold was steady at $1,463.59/oz 3.45am GMT. US gold futures were also flat at $1,468.

“The market is in a holding pattern. Stocks, oil, currencies and gold are awaiting the events that are coming in the second half of the week,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific at Oanda.

The US Federal Reserve will issue the statement of its December policy meeting later in the day. The central bank is expected to leave interest rates unchanged, but investors are eager to hear its outlook for the economy, mainly hit by a protracted trade war between China and the US.

“The Federal open market committee will update the dot-plot, so that will be closely watched,” Halley said. “If they provide a more dovish outlook, that would potentially weaken the dollar, which will be positive for gold.”

On the US-China trade front, market participants maintained a cautious stance as US President Donald Trump has to decide whether to impose tariffs on nearly $160bn in Chinese consumer goods just weeks before Christmas.

The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday said both sides’ trade negotiators were planning for a delay of the December tariffs.

“Should both parties fail to reach positive consensus, gold prices will receive strength over lacklustre risk appetites for the near term,” Phillip Futures analyst Benjamin Lu said in a note.

Elsewhere, the autocatalyst metal palladium was unchanged at $1,897.26/oz, having surged past the key level of $1,900/oz for the first time on Tuesday.

Speculative buying and a mine closure in major producer SA have supported palladium prices, which are expected to rise further in the longer term, a trader from Japan-based retailer Tokuriki Honten said. Mines across SA were shutting down load-shedding was pushed to stage 6 for the first time.

The news had also supported platinum prices, which rose as much as 3% in the last session — the most since at least early September. On Wednesday, the metal fell 0.4% to $918.41/oz.

Silver slipped 0.1% to $16.63/oz.

Reuters

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