Gold prices hovered near three-week highs on Wednesday, as investors pared back bets of further U.S. interest rate hikes in response to soft economic readings, with more data eyed this week to analyse the outlook.
Spot gold was flat at $1,936.17 per ounce by 0328 GMT, about $2 below its highest levels since Aug. 7 hit on Tuesday. U.S. gold futures steadied at $1,964.30.
U.S. Treasury yields slipped to three-week lows and the dollar weakened on Tuesday, after data showed job openings dropped to the lowest level in nearly 2-1/2 years in July, while consumer confidence fell more than expected in August.
Lower rates burnish demand for non-interest paying gold.
“It’s all about the U.S. dollar and yields, and if U.S. data continues to soften, we can expect higher gold prices on the back of reduced bets of another Fed hike,” said Matt Simpson, a senior analyst at City Index.
“Of course, the risk here is that the JOLTS report was a lone wolf and if the U.S. GDP and NFP data comes in hot, hold on to your gold hats as we could easily see Tuesday’s gains reverse.”
Investors now await the Commerce Department’s second take on April-June GDP later in the day, PCE price index on Thursday, and the non-farm payrolls report on Friday.
The Federal Reserve is expected to stand pat at its meeting next month, with markets pricing in a 53% chance of another pause at the November meeting compared to 38% a day earlier, according to the CME’s FedWatch Tool.
Gold may extend gains to $1,948 per ounce, as it has cleared a resistance at $1,936, said Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
Elsewhere, spot silver fell 0.4% to $24.63 per ounce, but was hovering close to a one-month high.
Platinum eased 0.1% to $975.07, having climbed to its highest level since July 19 in the previous session. Palladium shed 0.8% to $1,239.38.