Gold listless with eyes on Fed’s interest rate outlook

Gold was little changed on Wednesday as investors braced for updated interest rate projections and remarks from Chair Jerome Powell following the Federal Reserve‘s monetary policy meeting.

Spot gold was steady at $1,931.20 per ounce at 1127 GMT, holding below its highest level since Sept. 5 reached on Tuesday. U.S. gold futures eased 0.1% to $1,952.50.

“Range trading is the way gold prices will prevail in the short term,” said UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo, who expected the Fed to keep with its data-dependent approach and signal it is too early to cut rates.

Fed officials are widely expected to keep rates on hold for now, but also flag in new economic projections whether they feel rates still need to rise further before the end of the year.

Surging oil prices have added to inflationary pressures and raised expectations that the U.S. central bank will keep rates higher for longer. [O/R]

“Thus far, real Treasury yields have remained elevated in the lead-up to the upcoming Fed meeting, which reflects broad positioning in place for a hawkish-pause scenario from the Fed and kept gold prices on some caution,” said Yeap Jun Rong, a market strategist at IG. [US/]
The dollar also remained firm before the decision, while markets saw a roughly 4-in-10 chance of another hike before 2024, according to the CME FedWatch tool. [USD/] The Fed’s rate-setting committee will release its interest rate decision and updated projections at 1800 GMT, with Powell scheduled to hold a press conference at 1830 GMT.

“What is still keeping the gold price supported is solid demand from central banks, which continue to diversify into gold,” Staunovo said, adding “Chinese demand should be quite solid now with some of the restrictions being lifted on the import side.” [GOL/AS]

Spot silver edged up 0.2% to $23.28 per ounce, platinum fell 0.3% to $936.83 and palladium gained 1.6% to $1,279.56.

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