Gold & Silver

Gold slips on strong US data, Fed rate hike expectations

Reuters Bengaluru | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on May 18, 2016

gold

Gold dropped on Wednesday after strong US economic data and comments from the central bank officials bolstered expectations that the Federal Reserve could soon hike interest rates.

A Fed policymaker had said on Tuesday he will push for an interest rate hike in June or July, and two others predict upto three rate increases this year.

Gold is highly sensitive to rising rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-interest yielding bullion.

Spot gold dipped 0.5 per cent to $1,273.20 per ounce at 0640 GMT, after gaining 0.5 per cent in the previous session.

US gold futures fell 0.2 per cent to $1,275.

"The prices have slipped slightly today... that is partly due to speculation or increased bets that the Fed will be listing higher rates this year,” said Vyanne Lai, analyst, National Australia Bank.

Bullion has rallied 20 per cent this year on speculation that the Fed has slowed down its expected pace of rate increases on concerns about global economic growth and the volatility of stock markets.

In its April policy statement, the Fed indicated it wants to have more confidence in the economy's overall health before hiking rates again.

US data on Tuesday showed that consumer prices recorded their biggest increase in more than three years in April.

Housing starts and industrial production rebounded strongly last month, suggesting the economy was regaining steam early in the second quarter after almost stalling early in the year.

Fed minutes

Strong economic data could prompt the Fed to raise rates sooner than later. Traders will be eyeing the Fed's April meeting minutes which is due later in the day for further cues on US interest rate outlook.

"I think a lot of investors are holding back as they are waiting for the FOMC minutes,” said Brian Lan, managing director at Singapore-based gold dealer GoldSilver Central. "Officials have been saying they wish to raise the rates but unless and until Fed Chair Janet Yellen mentions something I don't think the market will actually take that into consideration,” he added.

Dollar's strength also weighed on gold and other precious metals on Wednesday. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major currencies, rose 0.3 per cent.

Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.56 per cent to 855.89 tonnes on Tuesday, the highest since November 2013.

Spot silver slipped 0.9 per cent to $17.07 per ounce, spot platinum dropped 0.5 per cent at $1,043.95 per ounce and spot palladium fell 0.2 per cent to touch $581.20 an ounce

Published on May 18, 2016
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