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Gold steady despite Fed support for hike in interest rate

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Gold was flat on Thursday, as the U.S. dollar weakened and the Federal Reserve minutes revealed “almost all participants” thought a hike in interest rates was appropriate.

Spot gold was unchanged at $1,255.70 per ounce. U.S. gold futures for August delivery settled up $5.30 at $1,258.80.

The dollar index fell to its lowest level in more than a week while the euro climbed half a percent to near three-week highs following strong German data.

"The dollars down, giving some support to precious metals," said Chris Gaffney, president of world markets at TIAA Bank.

The minutes of the U.S. central bank's June meeting demonstrated strong support for an interest rate hike for 2018. During the discussion, the Fed had projected two more rate hikes in 2018 for a total of four. Gold is sensitive to rising interest rates, as higher rates increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which the metal is priced.

Investors are also awaiting the release of non-farm payrolls and unemployment data on Friday.

"One would not like to have any bullish bets on gold when the labor market trend is strong," ThinkMarkets chief market analyst Naeem Aslam said.

Physical gold demand has been lackluster in India, the second-biggest gold consumer after China, Commerzbank said, lending no price support.

Meanwhile, silver was down 0.24 percent at $16.01. Palladium was flat at $945.25 while platinum declined 0.45 percent to $836.24 after touching its lowest since 2008 at $793 on Tuesday.

"It's a speculative-driven selloff in platinum, it's not a fundamental driven selloff," said Jonathan Butler, commodities analyst at Mitsubishi. "And when we think about the fundamentals, at $800, most South African mines are losing money. So if we maintain these prices sub-$900, there will eventually be a supply-led response."