Gold dips as investors brace for big rate hikes, especially by Fed

Bengaluru — Gold prices slipped on Monday as investors braced for aggressive rate hikes by major central banks this week, especially from the US Federal Reserve, to tame high inflation.

Spot gold was down 0.3% at $1,669.69 per ounce, by 5.10am. US gold futures fell 0.2% at $1,679.70.

Gold is known as a safe investment amid inflation woes, but high interest rates increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

“We’ll see some choppy, sideways trade leading up to the FOMC meeting, with $1,680 likely being a pivotal level for traders over the near-term,” said Matt Simpson, a senior market analyst at City Index. “A hawkish hike would be another nail in the gold coffin, and will likely send prices down to the $1600-$1650 range.”

The US Fed’s federal open market committee is expected to begin its two-day meeting on interest rates on September 20 and announce its decision the next day. Markets are fully pricing in a 75-basis-point rate hike by the US central bank.

Most of the banks meeting this week — from Switzerland to SA — are expected to hike, with markets split on whether the Bank of England will go by 50 or 75 basis points.

US consumers’ near-term inflation expectations fell to a one-year low in September, easing fears that the Fed could raise interest rates by a full percentage.

Speculators switch to net short position of 10,132 contracts in the week ended September 13 in Comex gold, while they trimmed net short position in Comex silver, the US commodity futures trading commission said on Friday.

Spot silver lost 1% to $19.36 per ounce. Platinum fell 0.6% to $901.46 and palladium was down 1% at $2,113.18.