Futures & Commodities

Gold shrugs off higher dollar after Powell testimony

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Gold gained on Wednesday, taking an uptick in U.S. Treasury yields and the dollar in stride, as the safe-haven metal drew support from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's repeated calls to keep low-interest rates pinned near zero.

Spot gold rose 0.4% to $1,733.39 per ounce by 4 p.m. EDT (1754 GMT). U.S. gold futures settled 0.5% up at $1,733.20.

"The Fed said that despite the fact that we could see some higher inflation, they will look past it so that ultimately means we could see a spike in inflation and the Fed remaining on the sidelines ... those factors are helping gold here," said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategies at TD Securities.

Fed chair Powell told lawmakers on Tuesday he expected some inflation but that would be "neither particularly large nor persistent." The U.S. central bank pledged to keep interest rates anchored near zero in its policy meeting last week.

Gold's gains came despite the dollar ticking up. A stronger dollar makes holding gold more expensive for other currency holders.

While gold could rise to $1,900 again, a strong dollar, which is unlikely to weaken in the near term given lockdowns in Europe and the potential outperformance of the United States versus other economies, remains a headwind for gold, Melek added.

Higher yields have also challenged gold's status as an inflation hedge since they translate into higher opportunity costs of holding the non-yielding commodity.

Gold is unlikely to move out of the $1,700-to-$1,750 range until later in the year when growth and inflation likely stalls with investors likely favoring assets and commodities that track higher inflation until then, said Phillip Streible, chief market strategist at Blue Line Futures in Chicago.

Elsewhere, palladium gained 1.2% to $2,635.19 per ounce and silver rose 0.2% to $25.12. Platinum climbed 0.4% to $1,172.82.