Gold hits one-week low on Fed interest rate signals

  • U.S. 10-yr yield rises to strongest since April 2021
  • Silver slips to three-week lows

Jan 6 (Reuters) – Gold prices slid to a one-week low on Thursday as minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s December meeting signalled quicker increases to interest rates, boosting the dollar and Treasury yields.

Spot gold fell 1.1% to $1,790.20 an ounce by 1304 GMT, its lowest since Dec. 29. U.S. gold futures were down 1.7% at $1,794.00.

The “very hawkish” Fed minutes sent the dollar and the yields significantly higher, which has not helped gold, said independent analyst Ross Norman.

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The U.S. dollar resumed its climb towards a recent 14-month high while benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yields rose to their strongest since April 2021.

The Fed minutes released on Wednesday showed that officials had discussed shrinking the U.S. central bank’s overall asset holdings as well as raising interest rates sooner than expected to fight inflation, with an 80% chance of a quarter of a percentage point increase plausible in March. read more

Some investors view gold as a hedge against higher inflation, but the metal is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, which increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

Investors now await the U.S. non-farm payrolls report due on Friday.

The ADP National Employment report showed U.S. private payrolls increased more than expected in December, pointing to underlying labour market strength, but fast-rising COVID-19 infections could slow momentum in the months ahead. read more

“Despite the rise in the number of new COVID-19 cases, a scenario that normally would support the precious metal due to its safe-haven appeal, gold is facing the headwinds generated by a strong dollar,” Ricardo Evangelista, senior analyst at ActivTrades, said in a note.

In other metals, spot silver dropped 3.1% to $22.07, its lowest since Dec. 16 and poised for its largest one-day percentage decline in more than three months.

Platinum fell 1.6% to $966.50 and palladium dipped 0.7% to $1,851.63.

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Reporting by Seher Dareen in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Bharat Govind Gautam; Editing by David Goodman and Alexandra Hudson

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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