Gold inches down as dollar edges up amid focus on Fed hints

Bengaluru — Gold crept lower on Monday, after marking its worst week in five, pressured by a pop in the dollar while traders awaited further cues on central banks’ interest rates strategy.

Spot gold fell 0.3% to $1,744.38 per ounce by 4.17am. US gold futures shed 0.5% to $1,746.30.

Bullion fell 1.2% in the week ending November 18, its worst since the one ending October 14, despite scaling a peak since mid-August on November 15.

With no major economic news to drive sentiment in Asia, “traders are tentatively bullish on the dollar after hawkish comments from Fed members last week which is weighing on gold”, said City Index analyst Matt Simpson.

The dollar index was up 0.2%, making gold less attractive for overseas buyers. Gold could test the $1,735 and $1,729 support levels ahead of the minutes from the US Federal Reserve’s most recent meeting on Wednesday, and there’s potential for the dollar to continue higher should they be more hawkish than expected ahead of US Thanksgiving holidays on Thursday, Simpson added.

Atlanta Fed president Raphael Bostic said on Saturday he is ready to “move away” from three-quarter-point rate hikes at the Fed’s December meeting. But the central bank is still expected to raise rates by half a percentage point, a view endorsed by other Fed officials as well recently.

High interest rates discourage investing in non-yielding gold.

Investors also kept a close tab on the economic fallout from fresh Covid-19 restrictions in China, also the top bullion consumer and this seemed to sour sentiment in wider Asian markets.

Chinese physical gold premiums fell sharply last week as buying slowed.

Elsewhere, spot silver fell 0.8% to $20.74 per ounce, platinum slipped 0.9% to $968.62, and palladium shed 0.7% to $1,924.34.