LONDON: Gold traded lower on Thursday as a stronger dollar and remarks from US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell about the central bank’s commitment to tame rising prices dimmed its safe-haven appeal.
Spot gold fell 0.4% to $1,829.89 per ounce by 1056 GMT. US gold futures inched 0.4% lower to $1,830.70.
While the precious metal is considered a hedge against inflation and economic instability, it also contends with the dollar as a safe-store of value. Therefore, a firmer dollar makes greenback-priced bullion more expensive for overseas buyers.
Gold is expected to face gradual downward pressure and move towards $1,800, with Powell reiterating the rate hike path and the dollar also strengthening, Bank of China International analyst Xiao Fu said.
“Because gold’s a safe haven asset, it will attract buying on (recession risk) demand, but the rising rates are very powerful in terms of impacting other asset classes and including gold.”
Higher US interest rates increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.
Powell on Wednesday noted that the Fed is not trying to engineer a recession to stop inflation but is fully committed to bringing prices under control even if doing so risks an economic downturn.
Powell is due to testify again in Washington D.C. later on Thursday.
“Market participants appear to be changing their minds almost hourly about whether gold is a safe haven at present,” Commerzbank commodities analyst Daniel Briesemann said in a note.
Spot silver dropped 1% to $21.17 per ounce, platinum fell 0.7%, to $920.06. Palladium rose 0.3% to $1,869.70.
Silver bars have piled up at Russia’s Polymetal as it seeks new export destinations to replace Europe. Polymetal has not been directly targeted by Western sanctions, but along with other Russian commodity producers, it has been impacted by Western banks and shippers having reduced dealing with Russian companies.