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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 under pressure from  higher US Treasury yields as investors looked for clues about the Federal Reserve's interest rate hike timeline from its policy meeting next week.

Spot gold fell 0.1% to $1,817.11 an ounce by 4.14am GMT. US gold futures were little changed at $1,816.20.

Global investor attention remains fixed on the US Federal Reserve’s January 25-26 meeting after central bank officials signalled they would start raising interest rates in March to tame inflation, which rose 7% last month from a year earlier — the fastest pace in nearly 40 years.

Gold is considered an inflationary hedge, but the metal is sensitive to rising US interest rates, which increase the opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing bullion.

Benchmark 10-year US Treasury yields climbed to a two-year high, reducing the appeal of the non-yielding metal.

Gold’s near-term fate lies in the Fed’s hands and how quickly they raise interest rates over the next half year, said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, adding that the metal was likely to remain range bound and possibly turn negative going into the meeting.

“Every day we are trying to figure out how significant the hawkish Fed is going to be relative to other geopolitical risks engulfing the market, like the situation in Ukraine, which continues to keep a bid under gold right now,” Innes said.

Last week, the US said it feared Russia was preparing a pretext to invade Ukraine if diplomacy failed to meet its objectives.

The Bank of Japan raised its inflation forecast for the fiscal year beginning in April and said risks to the price outlook were evenly balanced.

Spot silver was down 0.6% at $22.86 an ounce, and platinum dropped 0.5% to $966.71, while palladium gained 0.2% to $1,879.97. 

Reuters

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