A five hundred gram gold bar, left, and a a one kilogram gold bar, produced by Swiss manufacturer Argor Hebaeus SA, in Budapest, Hungary, on Wednesday, July 20, 2016.
Akos Stiller | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Gold prices slipped on Wednesday as robust U.S. economic data lifted the dollar and Treasury yields ahead of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s November meeting that could provide cues on future interest rate hikes.
Spot gold fell 0.4% to $1,782.81 per ounce by 10:31 a.m. ET (1531 GMT), and U.S. gold futures were down 0.1% at $1,781.70.
Gold slid below the key $1,800 mark earlier this week as the re-nomination of Fed Chair Jerome Powell bolstered bets of faster monetary policy tightening, boosting the dollar and in turn making bullion more expensive for overseas buyers.
The gold market is being pressured by concerns that the Fed may begin to ramp up its tapering or bring interest rate hikes into the picture at a more rapid pace than previously anticipated, said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures.
The Fed minutes could show “a much more hawkish stance because at that time everything was moving much higher. So the minutes might be a little bit more alarming than usual,” Meir said.
Higher interest rates increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.
Gold investors also seem to be discounting for the possibility of moderating inflation, given the recent retreat in energy prices, ED&F Man Capital Markets analyst Edward Meir said.
Piling pressure on gold was a drop in U.S. initial jobless claims to their lowest since 1969 and a separate report showing economic growth increased at a 2.1% annualized rate.
San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly said she would be open to accelerating the pace of the central bank’s asset purchase tapering if inflation remained elevated and jobs growth stayed strong.
Some analysts said thinner volumes heading into the Thanksgiving holiday could contribute to bigger price swings. Spot platinum fell 0.1% to $968.55 per ounce, while palladium dipped 1% to $1,849.19. Silver fell 0.8% to $23.46.