By Gina Lee
Investing.com – Gold was down on Wednesday morning in Asia. Investors continued their cautious wait for the latest U.S. jobs report, which could provide clues on when the Federal Reserve could begin asset tapering and interest rate hikes.
Gold futures inched down 0.06% to $1,817.05 by 12:31 AM ET (4:31 AM GMT). The dollar, which usually moves inversely to gold, edged up on Wednesday after hitting a more than three-week low the day before.
On the data front, the U.S. Conference Board (CB) consumer confidence index was 113.8, a six-month low, and the S&P/Case-Shiller 20 n.s.a. house price index composite grew a record 19.1% in June. With labor market recovery a requisite for the Fed to begin asset tapering, the focus is squarely on the jobs report, including non-farm payrolls, which is due on Friday.
Some officials at the European Central Bank (ECB) are also starting to ponder whether to begin asset tapering, with Tuesday’s Eurozone consumer price index (CPI) grew a higher-than-expected 3% year-on-year in August.
They include ECB Governing Council member Robert Holzmann, who suggested that asset tapering should be on the agenda at the Governing Council meeting due to take place in the following week.
In Asia Pacific, China’s Caixin manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI), released earlier in the day, was a lower-than-expected 49.2, below the 50-mark indicating growth. In Australia, the GDP grew 9.6% year-on-year and 0.7% quarter-on-quarter.
Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust (P:GLD) fell 0.2% to 1,000.26 tons on Tuesday, the lowest level since April 2020.
In other precious metals, silver was flat at $23.88 per ounce, while platinum was up 0.3% and palladium gained 0.5%.