Gold prices steady as dollar takes a breather

Gold prices held steady on Wednesday as expectations of more U.S. interest rate increases pressured demand, although the metal drew some support from the dollar coming off a seven-week high.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,189.05 an ounce at 0513 GMT, moving largely within a slim $3 range during the session. U.S. gold futures rose 0.1 percent to $1,193.20 an ounce.

“Some people seem to be expecting a decent snap back in prices but the combination of decent (U.S.) data revisions and inexorable tightening has still got gold on the defensive for now,” said Nicholas Frappell, global general manager, ABC Bullion, Australia.

“The recent revisions to jobs data has underscored the upward pressure on U.S. rates and FOMC (The Federal Open Market Committee) policy choices.”

The dollar slipped further from seven-week highs on Wednesday although underlying support for the greenback remained strong amid a confluence of factors, including a strong U.S. economy and a steady path for rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday again criticized the Fed, telling reporters the central bank is going too fast in raising rates when inflation is minimal and government data points to a strong economy.

Asian shares barely moved on Wednesday after world stocks hit eight-week lows the previous day on worries about global economic growth.

“We are seeing some gentle bids come in (for gold)… I think this is due to dollar bulls not running wild, and a bit of equity markets uncertainly,” said Stephen Innes, APAC trading head at OANDA in Singapore.

“If equities spiral aggressively, I think gold will be in demand,” he said adding that movements in the dollar would, however, continue to be the primary trigger.

Gold has held in a $34 range for the last 1-1/2 months, which some analysts say suggests resilience, supported by concerns over economic growth in emerging markets and inflationary pressure from soaring oil prices.

However, the metal, traditionally considered a prudent store of value during political and economic uncertainty, has lost much of its safe-haven appeal this year with investors increasingly opting for the greenback instead, especially as the U.S.-China trade war unfolded and on rising U.S. interest rates.

“Continued upside impediment will plague gold prices amidst robust U.S. economic fundamentals, widening of global interest rate differentials and increasing bond yields,” said Benjamin Lu, commodities analyst, Phillip Futures in a note.

Spot gold may retest a support at $1,182, a break below which could cause a loss to the next support at $1,174, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Spot silver fell 0.2 percent to $14.34. Palladium was up 0.2 percent to $1,070.95 and platinum gained 0.3 percent at $826.50 an ounce.

Source: Reuters