Futures & Commodities

Gold retreats as dollar, U.S. yields gain after Fed minutes

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Key Points
  • Spot gold eased 0.1% to $1,866.64 by 3:34 p.m. EDT (1934 GMT), having earlier risen as much as 1.2% to its highest since Jan. 8 at $1,889.75.
  • U.S. gold futures settled up 0.7% at $1,881.50.
This photo shows gold bars stacked in rows.
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Gold fell on Wednesday from a more than four-month high it hit earlier in the session as the dollar and U.S. Treasury yields rose after minutes from a Federal Reserve meeting showed the central bank might be inching closer to taper talks.

Spot gold eased 0.1% to $1,866.64 by 3:34 p.m. EDT (1934 GMT), having earlier risen as much as 1.2% to its highest since Jan. 8 at $1,889.75. U.S. gold futures settled up 0.7% at $1,881.50.

Some Fed officials appeared ready to begin considering changes to monetary policy based on continued rapid progress in the economic recovery, according to the Fed minutes.

"Gold whipsawed in a volatile session, rallying nearly $40 amidst market chatter of central bank interest before retreating after the Fed minutes indicated that 'a number of participants' suggested taper discussions might be appropriate if the economy continued to make rapid progress," said Tai Wong, head of metals derivatives trading at BMO.

"Even though we are months away, the market is showing its sensitivity to a Fed change," he said. "The new short-term range is $1,850-$1,890."

Benchmark U.S. Treasury yields jumped to their highest in nearly a week, increasing the opportunity cost of holding gold, while the dollar index bounced back from a near three-month low after the Fed minutes.

"Gold traders may have thought they had a one-way ticket to $1,900, but the Fed Minutes triggered a big reversal as preview of taper talks sent Treasury yields soaring higher," Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA, said in a note.

"Despite the carnage over several asset classes, gold investors got to be happy with how it performed today. Some institutional traders got burned on bitcoin and will likely remain loyal to gold," Moya said.

Silver eased 2% to $27.64 per ounce. Palladium fell 1.3% to $2,865.50, while platinum lost 2.6% to $1,186.50.