Economy

Gold hits over 2-week low on hawkish Fed bets, firmer dollar

FILE PHOTO: An ingot of 99.99 percent pure gold is cast at the Krastsvetmet non-ferrous metals plant in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia March 10, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Manzyuk

By Bharat Gautam

(Reuters) – Gold prices dipped on Monday to their lowest in more than two weeks, as bets for an increasingly aggressive and hawkish U.S. Federal Reserve approach to tightening monetary policy boosted the dollar and pressured demand for bullion.

Spot gold was down 0.3% at $1,923.74 per ounce, as of 0321 GMT, hitting its lowest since April 7. U.S. gold futures were down 0.6% at $1,923.30.

Although the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield is nearing 3% and theoretically that’s supposed to be a tipping point for gold, it is more about real yields that are starting to catch up and that will weigh on gold, said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management. [US/]

With expectations for a half-percentage point interest rate hike at the Fed’s May meeting now locked in, traders on Friday piled into bets that the U.S. central bank will go even bigger in subsequent months.

The dollar firmed near its highest in two years, making greenback-priced gold costlier for other currency holders. [USD/]

Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. short-term interest rates and higher yields, which increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion. It is, however, seen as a safe store of value during economic and political crises.

Gold still has some intrinsic value when economies slow because then, banks don’t want to raise interest rates, Innes said, adding: “The market is pricing in rates, rates, rates. But what happens if the economy starts tanking very aggressively?”

U.S. officials arrived in Kyiv late on Sunday and held talks with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, an aide to the Ukrainian leader said, as Russia’s invasion entered a third month.

Spot silver dipped 1% to $23.89 per ounce, platinum eased 0.4% to $927.00, and palladium fell 2.9% to $2,305.69.

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