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Picture: 123RF/PHAWAT KHOMMAI/FILE PHOTO
Picture: 123RF/PHAWAT KHOMMAI/FILE PHOTO

Bengaluru — Gold prices were subdued on Wednesday, as the US dollar strengthened after hawkish comments from a Federal Reserve official kept investors cautious ahead of the Jackson Hole Symposium due later this week.

Spot gold was down 0.2% at $1,744.10 per ounce at 3.17am GMT, after rising 0.7% in the previous session. US gold futures eased 0.2% to $1,757.70. The dollar rose 0.2% against its rivals, making gold more expensive for buyers holding other currencies.

Fed chair Jerome Powell’s speech at the annual global central banking conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on Friday will be keenly watched for more cues on future interest rate hikes.

“We’re seeing the market digest the correction after six days of losses with [the] speech from Powell on Friday being an important thing to markets at this point, expecting some kind of a guidance, or framework about the Fed policy,” said Ilya Spivak, a currency strategist at DailyFX.

“Overall, [the] macro environment is materially not very much different. At this stage, the bias remains very much bearish for gold.”

Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari was the latest official to reiterate the US Fed’s focus on controlling inflation ahead of all else.

The US central bank has raised its benchmark overnight interest rate by 225 basis points (bps) in total since March to contain inflationary pressures and has noted that further tightening would depend on economic data points.

Sales of new US single-family homes plunged to a 6½-year low in July, while a survey from S&P Global showed its measure of private sector business activity fell to a 27-month low, suggesting Fed efforts to tame inflation were working.

Higher interest rates increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion. Indicative of sentiment, holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund (ETF), fell 0.3% to 984.38 tonnes on Tuesday.

Spot silver fell 0.6% to $19.04 per ounce, platinum dipped 0.3% to $876.56, while palladium gained 0.2% to $1,984.67.

Reuters

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