By Gina Lee
Investing.com – Gold was up on Monday morning in Asia, hitting a near two-week peak as the dollar weakened and offset bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve could begin asset tapering soon.
Gold futures edged up 0.15% to $1,761 by 10:21 PM ET (2:21 AM GMT) after hitting $1,765.54, its highest level since Sep. 23. The dollar, which normally moves inversely to gold, inched down to its lowest level since Sep. 29.
The Fed could be close to meeting the inflation mandate set for raising interest rates, according to Philadelphia Fed Bank President Patrick Harker. However, he added that it could be a year or longer before the central bank’s employment goal is met to allow for an interest rate hike.
Harker’s colleague, Cleveland Fed Bank President Loretta Mester, said on Friday that conditions for interest rate hikes could be met by the end-2022, with inflation expected to come back down to the Fed’s target in 2022.
Investors also await a slew of central bank policy decisions, with the Reserve Bank of Australia handing down its policy decision on Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand following a day later and the Reserve Bank of India handing down its decision on Friday.
SPDR Gold Trust (P:GLD) GLD (NYSE:GLD) said its holdings slipped 0.4% to 986.54 tons on Friday, while U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on the same day said speculators cut net long positions by 19,471 contracts to 42,123 in the week to Sep. 28.
Meanwhile, demand for physical gold also rose in top consumer China last week while activity also increased in other Asian hubs, including Singapore.
In other precious metals, silver and platinum were up 0.4%, while palladium inched up 0.1%.