(Reuters) – Gold prices edged lower on Monday, as risk appetite got a boost after U.S. Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell assuaged market fears of a quick withdrawal of pandemic-era stimulus, dampening bullion’s safe-haven appeal.
Spot gold was down 0.2% at $1,813.76 per ounce, as of 0727 GMT. Earlier in the session, bullion scaled to its highest since Aug. 4 at $1,822.92.
U.S. gold futures edged 0.2% lower to $1,816.50.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan hit a two-week high. [MKTS/GLOB]
“People are more interested in equity markets, but in case of a correction we may see a sharp rise in gold prices,” Vandana Bharti, assistant vice-president, commodity research at SMC Comtradem said, adding that $1,917-$1,940 should be a major resistance for the rest of 2021.
In a virtual speech at the Jackson Hole economic conference, Powell offered no signal on when the central bank plans to cut its asset purchases beyond saying it could be “this year” and indicated it would remain cautious in any eventual decision to raise interest rates.
Powell’s dovish statement helped gold gain 1.4% on Friday, while pushed the dollar index to a two-week low.
“The market is starting to re-adjust expectations for U.S. rate hikes after Powell’s speech on Friday, which was the green light for gold to move higher,” Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management said.
While gold is considered a hedge against inflation and currency debasement in the wake of massive stimulus measures, lower interest rate also reduces the opportunity cost of holding the non-yielding bullion.
Investors’ will now keep an eye out for the U.S. nonfarm payroll data for August due on Friday.
“Gold prices would again need to overcome the ominous $1,839 resistance before more additional buying would emerge,” Avtar Sandu, a senior commodities manager at Phillip Futures, said in a note.
Silver eased 0.2% to $23.95 per ounce, while platinum dipped 0.1% to $1,006.76. Palladium dropped 0.4% to $2,409.10.
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