Gold eases as investors await Powell’s Jackson Hole speech

Gold prices were subdued on Friday, as investors adopted a cautious stance ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech at a key central bankers’ meeting, which will be vetted for guidance on interest rate hikes.

FUNDAMENTALS

Spot gold edged 0.2% lower at $1,755.09 per ounce, as of 0118 GMT.

U.S. gold futures were down 0.1% at $1,769.2.

The dollar index and the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yields edged higher in early Asian hours. [USD/] [US/]

Powell’s speech is due at 1400 GMT on Friday at the Jackson Hole conference in Wyoming.

U.S. Fed officials on Thursday were noncommittal about the size of the interest rate increase they will approve at their Sept. 20-21 meeting, but continued hammering the point they will drive rates up and keep them there until inflation has been squeezed.

Higher interest rates increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar.

The U.S. economy contracted at a more moderate pace than initially thought in the second quarter, as consumer spending blunted some of the drag from a sharp slowdown in inventory accumulation, dispelling fears that a recession was underway.

China’s net gold imports via Hong Kong jumped to a nine-month high in July, data showed on Thursday, with banks snapping up bullion as Beijing works to revive an economy hit by a resurgence of COVID cases.

Spot silver dipped 0.4% to $19.2 per ounce, platinum rose 0.2% to $882.79, and palladium was up 0.2% at $2,151.55.

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