Futures & Commodities

Gold ticks up in choppy trade as growth concerns mount

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Gold bullion bars are pictured after being inspected and polished at the ABC Refinery in Sydney on August 5, 2020.
DAVID GRAY | AFP | Getty Images

Gold inched up in choppy trade on Wednesday as concerns over economic growth boosted the metal's safe-haven appeal ahead of U.S. inflation data that could guide the Federal Reserve's rate hike timeline.

Spot gold rose marginally higher to $1,852.25 per ounce whileU.S. gold futures settled up 0.17% at $1,855.3.

"We're seeing this push-pull mentality in the gold market... Now the focus is going to be on Friday's CPI data to see if inflation has in fact started to pull back a bit or continues to run hotter than expected," said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures.

Gold faces headwinds from a Fed that is now seemingly committed to fighting soaring inflation, Meger said.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the current annual inflation rate of 8% is "unacceptable" for the United States and a 2% inflation target is an "appropriate target" for the Fed.

Although seen as an inflation hedge, gold is sensitive to interest rate hikes which increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

Gold was also benefiting from some safe-haven flows driven by increased economic growth concerns amid deteriorating risk appetite, said Edward Moya, senior analyst with OANDA.

Gold's latest uptick came despite a rise in U.S. Treasury yields and a relatively firm dollar.

On the physical front, however, consultants Metals Focus said gold demand will dip this year amid weaker jewelry sales and retail investment in China due to COVID-19 lockdowns and an economic slowdown.

Elsewhere, silver fell 0.76% to $22.03 per ounce, platinum was down 0.5% at $1,006.18 and palladium shed 2.2% to $1,940.6.