Gold prices flat ahead of US rates decision

Bengaluru — Gold prices were in a tight range on Tuesday as traders awaited the US central bank’s decision on policy rates and remarks from chair Jerome Powell.

Spot gold held its ground at $2,032.15 an ounce by 4.19am GMT. US gold futures rose 0.3% to $2,031.00.

Traders are waiting for the US Federal Reserve’s policy outlook and jobs data this week, and that is consolidating gold prices, but prices can be expected to edge slightly on the positive side on Tuesday due to geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, said Ajay Kedia, director at Kedia Commodities in Mumbai.

Markets widely expect the Fed to stand pat on rates at its two-day policy meeting that starts later in the day, but attention will largely be on comments from Powell on Wednesday.

Traders are betting on five quarter-point rate cuts for 2024 in the US, with the first of those arriving at a coin flip chance in March, according to LSEG’s interest rate probability app IRPR.

A Reuters poll shows that uncertainty about the economy and US interest rate cuts could drive record gold prices in 2024. Lower interest rates decrease the opportunity cost of holding bullion.

The dollar index weakened 0.2%, which generally makes gold more attractive to other currency holders. Yields on the benchmark US Treasury note hit a two-week low of 4.0550%.

Spot silver fell 0.2% to $23.15 an ounce.

Analysts and traders have downgraded their price forecasts for platinum and palladium in 2024 as demand struggles to rise, but they still expect prices for both to rebound from current levels.

Spot platinum fell 0.2% to $924.85 an ounce, while palladium dropped 0.2% to $981.48.