Gold dips as the dollar strengthens to two-decade peaks

Bengaluru — Gold prices eased on Wednesday as the dollar firmed, though bullion still traded in a narrow range as investors awaited fresh cues from top central banks on their monetary policy plans, especially from the US Federal Reserve.

Spot gold fell 0.3% to $1,827.03 per ounce by 2.31am GMT, extending losses to a fourth straight session. US gold futures dropped 0.6% to $1,828.10.

The dollar strengthened towards recent two-decade peaks, making greenback-priced bullion more expensive for buyers holding other currencies.

“Gold is content to trade inversely to the US dollar in a sideways range at the moment, and we’ll need a big directional move from the greenback to change that,” Oanda senior analyst Jeffrey Halley said.

Market participants are also eyeing Fed chair Jerome Powell’s testimonies in Washington DC this week. “If Powell is hawkish tonight, we could see another bout of US dollar strength as yields rise again. That would push gold lower. Otherwise, I foresee minimal impact,” Halley added.

The Fed is likely to deliver another 75-basis-point (bps) rate hike in July, followed by a 50 bps rise in September, and won’t scale back to quarter percentage point moves until November at the earliest, according to a Reuters poll. Higher interest rates and bond yields increase the opportunity cost of holding gold, which yields nothing.

Meanwhile, gold could be among assets that may be targeted in a possible next round of EU sanctions on Russia, a draft document showed.

Looking ahead, spot gold may test a support at $1,821 per ounce, with a good chance of breaking below this level and falling to $1,812, according to Reuters’ technical analyst Wang Tao.

Spot silver dipped 1% to $21.45 per ounce, platinum fell 0.7% to $930.91, and palladium dropped 0.8% to $1,862.40.