Gold has eased to a one-week low on a stronger dollar, after the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady and was seen on track for further rate hikes.
‘The labour market has continued to strengthen and … economic activity has been rising at a strong rate,’ the Fed said in its latest policy statement, leaving intact its plans to continue raising rates gradually.
Spot gold fell 0.2 per cent to $US1,223.11 per ounce after touching its lowest since November 1 at $US1,219.59 earlier in the session.
US gold futures for December delivery settled down $US3.60, or 0.29 per cent, at $US1,225.10
‘The Fed gave no indication that they are changing their pace of rate hikes,’ said Michael Cuggino, portfolio manager at Permanent Portfolio Family of Funds.
As a ‘knee-jerk reaction’ to this, gold will not be favoured in the near-term, Cuggino said.
Financial markets had expected the Fed to hold its benchmark overnight lending rate steady and the central bank’s statement showed little change in its outlook for the economy since its previous meeting in September.
The Fed has raised rates three times this year and is widely expected to do so again in December.
Higher interest rates raise the opportunity costs of holding gold, which earns nothing and costs money to store and insure.
‘A failure to continue the momentum a little higher could see gold moving back to the psychologically (important) $US1,200 level,’ said Ross Norman, chief executive officer of Sharps Pixley.
The precious metal has fallen more than 10 per cent from its April peak after investors preferred the dollar as the US-China trade war unfolded against a background of higher US interest rates.
The dollar extended its recovery following a sigh of relief across markets after the US congressional midterm election results, and as investors turned their attention toward the Fed.
Gold is on track to post a fifth straight session of losses, hurt more broadly by a recovery in investor appetite for nominally higher-risk assets like stocks.
‘Risk appetite in the world marketplace is mostly upbeat following the U.S. mid-term elections that produced a divided Congress,’ Kitco Metals senior analyst Jim Wyckoff said in a note.
‘A rebound in the U.S. dollar index today, following selling pressure this week, is working against the precious metals market bulls.’
Silver fell 1.1 per cent to $US14.40 per ounce.
Palladium fell 0.8 per cent to $US1,124.40 per ounce. It touched a two-week high of $US1,139.50 an ounce in the previous session.
Platinum was down 1.2 per cent at $US862 an ounce, after hitting its highest since June 25 at $US877.50 an ounce on Wednesday.