NEW YORK: Gold prices edged higher on Wednesday, buoyed by a weaker dollar, while investors looked forward to the US Federal Reserve’s rate-hike decision and its Chair Jerome Powell’s remarks on monetary policy outlook.
Spot gold rose 0.1% to $1,929.93 per ounce by 10:52 a.m. ET (1552 GMT). US gold futures were up 0.1% to $1,930.20.
The dollar, meanwhile, slipped 0.3% against its rivals, making gold less expensive for other currency holders.
The US central bank is set to issue its policy statement at 2 p.m. EST, followed by a press conference from Powell at 2:30 p.m. EST.
The Fed is largely expected to raise its target interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point, setting aside the rapid hikes used last year to curb a surge in inflation in favour of a more stepwise hunt for a stopping point.
“(The Fed) will probably going to lean a bit hawkish to drive home the point that they’re going stamp out inflation. I think the surprise to the marketplace would be if the Fed lean surprisingly dovish,” said Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco Metals.
A more hawkish-than-expected Fed would be bearish for gold, since it could lead to other central banks also staying cautious, weighing on the demand prospects in 2023 for the precious metals markets, Wyckoff said.
Gold is highly sensitive to rising US interest rates, as these increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.
The European Central Bank and Bank of England hold their monetary policy meetings Thursday.
ADP National Employment report on Wednesday showed a tight labour market despite a low rise in private payrolls, attributing the low rise to bad weather.
Elsewhere, Spot silver fell 0.4% to $23.6082 per ounce and platinum dipped 1.1% to $999.82 while palladium gained 1.8% to $1,679.54.