NEW YORK: Gold prices were hemmed into a range on Wednesday, as focus turned to the Federal Reserve’s decision which investors will be watching to gauge the pace at which pandemic-era stimulus measures would be unwound.
Spot gold fell 0.2% to $1,766.17 per ounce, as of 11:40 a.m. ET (1640 GMT). U.S. gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,766.90.
Gold shrugged off data showing U.S. retail sales increased less than expected in November, after surging in October as Americans started holiday shopping early to avoid shortages and paying more for goods.
“Five minutes after the U.S. retail report, gold was back to where it was. On any other day, the report would be more significant, but as the Fed meeting looms, it was pushed aside very quickly,” said Jim Wyckoff, a senior analyst at Kitco Metals.
The Fed is expected to announce that it is speeding up the end of its bond purchases and signal a turn to interest rate increases next year as a guard against surging inflation.
It will be interesting to see whether Fed Chair Jerome Powell fuels or dampens rate hike expectations, Commerzbank said in a note.
Reduced stimulus and interest rate hikes tend to push government bond yields up, raising the opportunity cost of non-interest bearing bullion.
Looking ahead, “Gold should bottom out over the next 12-24 months, with prices likely to recover and stabilise after the Fed hiking cycle starts in earnest,” UBS lead strategist Joni Teves said in a note.
Silver will follow gold lower next year, Teves added.
Silver fell 1.8% to $21.54 per ounce, platinum down 2.3% at $898.63, and palladium dipped 2.8% to $1,575.47.
Among the autocatalysts, platinum was poised for gains in 2022 as supply-demand conditions tighten, while palladium could get a fillip from a recovery in global auto production, UBS added.