Gold grain at a refinery in Russia. Picture: BLOOMBERG/ANDREY RUDAKOV
Gold grain at a refinery in Russia. Picture: BLOOMBERG/ANDREY RUDAKOV

Bengaluru — Gold prices eased on Tuesday, hurt by an uptick in the dollar as investors await a policy meeting of the US central bank for clues to how it will fight growing inflationary pressures and worries over weaker economic growth.

Spot gold dipped 0.1% to $1,791.23 an ounce by 4.06am GMT. US gold futures dropped 0.2% to $1,791.80.

The dollar index edged up 0.1% after declining 0.3% on Monday, making gold less appealing to buyers holding other currencies.

Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, expects gold to remain under pressure in an environment of central bank tightening, with the US Federal Reserve expected to announce the start of stimulus tapering in Wednesday’s meeting.

Elevated price and wage increases may challenge the Fed as it tries to strike a balance between containing inflation and supporting a recovery in jobs lost since the pandemic. 

“Provided US 10-year yields continue to trade around current levels, suggesting a weaker growth outlook in bondholders’ minds, gold could remain supported,” Innes added.

Benchmark 10-year yields have held above 1.5%, but retreated from the multi-month highs of about 1.7% hit last month.

Innes said central banks were unlikely to start an aggressive rate hike campaign given the weaker economic data such as the Institute for Supply Management survey on Monday that showed US manufacturing activity had slowed last month.

Gold is often considered an inflation hedge, though reduced stimulus and interest rate hikes push government bond yields up, translating into a higher opportunity cost for holding bullion, which pays no interest.

Focus will also be on the Bank of England policy meeting due on Thursday, as investors weighed chances of a first interest rate hike by a major central bank since the start of the pandemic.

Spot silver eased 0.4% to $23.93 an ounce. Platinum fell 1.1% to $1,052.30 and palladium dropped 0.3% to $2,041.50.



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