Futures & Commodities

Gold slips as investors fear U.S. Fed taper hints

Share
Key Points
  • Spot gold fell 0.7% to $1,863.98 per ounce by 1:43 p.m EDT (1743 GMT) after hitting its lowest level since May 17 at $1,848.49. U.S. gold futures settled 0.7% down at $1,865.9.
This photo shows gold bars stacked in rows.
Ktsdesign | Science Photo Library

Gold prices slipped as much as 1.7% on Monday, as some investors feared the U.S. Federal Reserve may outline a path for scaling back its expansive monetary policy at a two-day meeting this week.

Spot gold fell 0.7% to $1,863.98 per ounce by 1:43 p.m EDT (1743 GMT) after hitting its lowest level since May 17 at $1,848.49. U.S. gold futures settled 0.7% down at $1,865.9.

Phillip Streible, chief market strategist at Blue Line Futures in Chicago, said there could have been some liquidation in gold ahead of the Fed's policy meeting, which begins on Tuesday.

"There's the possibility that the Fed may indicate that they're going to start tapering, which should weigh on gold," Streible said.

The Fed is already in the process of "expunging" liquidity from the system and that should also weigh on gold, he added, referring to last week's surge in the Federal Reserve's reverse repurchase volume.

Market participants will also scrutinize the Federal Reserve's evolving outlook on unemployment, inflation and economic growth, as well as the likely date of a first rate hike.

"We see risks for further weakness in prices as (Fed) taper talk saps interest in the yellow metal at a time when flows are not particularly supportive," TD Securities analysts said in a note.

Speculators reduced their net long positions in COMEX gold in the week ended June 8.

But Commerzbank expects inflation concerns to push gold to $2,000 an ounce by the end of the year, adding that inflation could remain at a very high level into the third quarter, prompting the Fed to reduce bond purchases by around the fourth quarter.

However, "this does not imply an earlier initial rate hike," supporting gold, the bank said in a note.

Elsewhere, silver was down 0.1% at $27.87 per ounce, while palladium fell 0.7% to $2,755.39 and platinum rose 1.3% to $1,164.54.