An undated handout picture shows gold bars before their dispatch to Poland's central bank, in London. Picture: G4S via REUTERS
An undated handout picture shows gold bars before their dispatch to Poland's central bank, in London. Picture: G4S via REUTERS

Bengaluru — Gold prices eased off a one-month high on Thursday as better-than-expected US consumer price data raised bets the Federal Reserve would tighten its policy earlier than anticipated.

Spot gold fell 0.3% to $1,788.22/oz by 3.52am GMT after hitting its highest level since September 16 at $1,795.81 on Wednesday. US gold futures slipped 0.3% to $1,789.40.

“I expect both the US dollar and long-dated rates to resume their climb sooner rather than later and the gold rally will evaporate as quickly as it began,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst for Asia-Pacific at Oanda.

“The 100- and 200-day moving averages lie between $1,795.00 and $1,800.00 today, and I believe this zone will present a formidable barrier to further gains.”

The dollar index steadied after a 0.5% decline on Wednesday, while benchmark US 10-year treasury yields were stable after pulling back from a more than four-month high.

US consumer prices increased solidly in September and are likely to rise further amid surging energy prices. This could pressure the Fed to act sooner to normalise policy.

Minutes from the Fed’s September meeting showed the central bank could start reducing stimulus by mid-November. While a growing number of policymakers were worried that high inflation could persist longer than thought, they were split over how soon they may need to raise rates in response.

Reduced central bank stimulus and interest rate hikes tend to push government bond yields up, translating into a higher opportunity cost for holding gold that pays no interest.

“It’s still the case that we’ll see gold prices trend lower as the Fed tightens policy,” said IG Market analyst Kyle Rodda.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.2% to 982.72 tonnes on Wednesday.

Spot silver slipped 0.5% to $22.95/oz, platinum fell 0.6% to $1,014.53 and palladium was flat at $2,106.73.  

Reuters

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