Gold posted a gain on Thursday, a day after settling at its lowest price in three weeks, but strength in the U.S. dollar in the wake of an interest-rate hike and statement from the European Central Bank helped to limit the metal’s rise.
Investors also looked to some fresh U.S. inflation data for hints on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s interest-rate decision, ahead of the central bank’s meeting next week.
Gold futures for December delivery
edged up by 30 cents, or less than 0.1%, to settle at $1,932.80 per ounce on Comex. On Wednesday, the most-active contract marked its lowest finish since Aug. 22, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
Silver futures for December
shed 19 cents, or 0.8%, to $22.99 per ounce.
Platinum for October delivery
gained $5.90, or nearly 0.7%, to $911.10 per ounce, while palladium for December delivery
fell $6, or 0.5%, to $1,254.80 per ounce.
Copper for December delivery
rose 3 cents, or nearly 0.8%, to $3.82 per pound.
Traders described the ECB’s 25 basis point interest rate hike on Thursday as “dovish,” potentially boosting the appeal of gold by suggesting that global bond yields may not need to rise much higher.
“The ECB hiked rates 25bps today, taking the deposit rate to 4.00% in what can only be characterised as a dovish hike,” said a team of macro analysts at TD Securities. “This is a clear sign that absent any further notable upside surprises to inflation and its drivers, they are done hiking rates.”
“It is difficult to be too bullish on gold right now as the renewed surge in inflation may force the Fed to hike interest rates perhaps one more time before the end of the year,” Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at City Index and FOREX.com, said in a market update.
U.S. August retail sales and wholesale producer prices were released Thursday morning. Retail sales in the U.S. rose 0.6% in August, while the producer-price index, a gauge of wholesale-price growth, rose 0.7%.
That data followed a reading on consumer prices on Wednesday that revealed a rise of 0.6% in August — the biggest increase in 14 months.
Gold prices remained on a “downward trajectory overall” as traders continue to evaluate the possible outcomes of the upcoming Fed meeting,” said Denys Peleshok, head of Asia at CPT Markets.
“Higher than expected U.S. inflation data has fueled more uncertainty about the direction of monetary policy,” he said in a market note. While the Fed is expected to maintain its policy interest rates unchanged in next week’s meeting, “elevated inflationary pressures could leave some concerns about another hike this year.”
The potential for the central bank to keep interest rates “high for longer” could continue to weigh on gold prices, which have been declining since their peak in May this year,” said Peleshok.