Gold extended its slide to a fifth session on Wednesday, dipping to its lowest in more than two months as bets for an economic recovery boosted the dollar and benchmark U.S. Treasury yields.
Spot gold was down 1.2% at $1,773.72 per ounce, having hit its lowest since Nov. 30 at $1,768.60 earlier.
U.S. gold futures settled down 1.5% at $1,772.80.
"The U.S. economy is expected to slowly recover," said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures.
Optimism over gaining the upper hand over the coronavirus is being shown in a slightly firmer dollar and in the 10-year yields, which rose to their highest since February 2020, Meger added.
Growing optimism for a $1.9 trillion U.S. stimulus plan and rising inflation expectations pushed up benchmark Treasury yields , which in turn lifted the dollar to a more than one-week peak. Breakeven inflation , a measure of expected inflation, is at its highest since August 2014 at 2.2%.
While gold is considered an inflation hedge likely spurred by widespread stimulus, higher yields have challenged that status since they increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding gold. But gold could come back into favour once other currencies start to outperform the dollar later this year, said OANDA analyst Craig Erlam.
U.S. Federal Reserve officials last month debated how to lay the groundwork for the public to accept higher inflation, and also the need to "stay vigilant" for signs of stress in buoyant asset markets, according to minutes of the U.S. central bank's Jan. 26-27 policy meeting. Auto-catalyst platinum fell 1.1% to $1,247.85 an ounce, well below Tuesday's high of $1,336.50, a peak since September 2014.
Palladium declined 0.4% to $2,372.62, while silver edged 0.1% higher to $27.26.