Picture: BLOOMBERG
Picture: BLOOMBERG

London — Gold recovered some ground on Wednesday as a pullback in US bond yields provided some respite to the precious metal, which has been hit by growing expectations that the US Federal Reserve could start unwinding its pandemic-era support soon.

Spot gold rose 0.5% to $1,742.26 an ounce at 9.21am GMT, having fallen to its lowest in over a month on Tuesday. US gold futures edged 0.3% up to $1,742.50.

Concerns that the Fed might begin dialling back its stimulus measures kept the dollar near a 10-month high on Wednesday, denting gold’s appeal for buyers holding other currencies.

“The risks to gold are skewed to the downside with more and more speculation, after Norway’s central bank raised rates, about which central bank is going to follow,” said Quantitative Commodity Research Analyst Peter Fertig.

Reduced central bank stimulus tends to lift government bond yields, which raises the opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing gold.

On Wednesday, however, 10-year US Treasury yields eased slightly and reduced that cost, though they held above 1.5%, levels not seen since late June, still posing a challenge for bullion.

Gold remains an attractive asset in the medium to long term, though, as investors could be tempted to pick up the metal given elevated stock valuations, said ActivTrades analyst Pierre Veyret.

In congressional testimony, Fed chair Jerome Powell said the US economy was still far from achieving maximum employment, a key component of the central bank’s requirements for raising interest rates.

Platinum fell 0.2%, to $965.00 an ounce, while palladium climbed 1.2% to $1,898.68.

“You have a double-whammy for palladium because supply bottlenecks limiting auto production implies less palladium demand, therefore you have investors also holding less of the metal,” Fertig said, referring to a decline in holdings in palladium Exchange Traded Funds.

He also said the impact could be more pronounced on palladium than platinum, given the increased substitution into the latter by automakers.

Silver fell 0.6% to $22.31 per ounce.

Reuters

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