Gold & Silver

Gold prices up as dollar remains weak; markets await Fed rate outlook

Reuters March 21 | Updated on March 21, 2018 Published on March 21, 2018

In the national capital, gold of 99.9 per cent and 99.5 per cent purity rose further Rs 110 each to Rs 31,460 and Rs 31,310 per 10 gram, respectively.

Gold prices rose on Wednesday as the dollar fell as investors await the outcome of the US Federal Reserve’s meeting this week for signs of the pace of monetary tightening, which could limit the demand for bullion going forward.

Spot gold rose 0.2 per cent to $1,313.96 per ounce at 0336 GMT. Prices fell to a nearly three-week low in the previous session of $1,306.91. US gold futures for April delivery fell 0.1 per cent to $1,313.80 per ounce.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, slipped down 0.1 per cent to 90.256 after climbing to 90.445 on Tuesday, its highest in almost three weeks.

25 bps rate hike seen

With a 25 basis point interest rate hike seen as a done deal, investors will be on the lookout for whether the Fed forecasts four rate increases in 2018, instead of the median of three hikes in December's quarterly forecast.

“Dealers will be looking at forward guidance to determine the dollar's prospects, and therefore that of gold,” said Alasdair Macleod, head of research with Toronto-based Goldmoney Inc.

The Fed will make an announcement on interest rates at 1800 GMT on Wednesday and new Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will hold his first news conference at 1830 GMT.

Faster pace of rate hikes

The expectations for a faster pace of US rate hikes has caused gold to fall 4 percent from a 1-1/2-year high reached in January. Higher US interest rates reduces demand for gold for non-interest-bearing bullion.

Heightened geo-political tensions, inflation concerns, trade wars and runaway US budget deficit spending should serve to counteract the well-expected Fed rate hike and keep the floor on gold prices intact, Stephen Innes, APAC trading head at OANDA said.

SPDR Gold Trust

Holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, holdings rose 1.26 per cent, their best one-day percentage rise since January 18 to 850.84 tonnes on Monday. SPDR holdings, however, fell 0.04 per cent on Tuesday.

Import duties on Chinese goods

US President Donald Trump is expected to unveil up to $60 billion in import duties on Chinese goods by Friday. The move comes after Trump imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminium earlier this month.

Investors are worried Trump's actions could escalate into a trade war if China and other countries retaliate with similar or harsher measures, threatening global growth.

Among other precious metals, spot silver rose 0.5 per cent to $16.26 per ounce, while platinum gained 0.4 per cent to $944.50 per ounce. Palladium was 0.3 per cent higher at $981.65 per ounce.

Published on March 21, 2018

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