Gold prices held close to a more than two-week low on Tuesday, as the dollar jumped on bets for quicker interest rate increases after U.S. President Joe Biden backed Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell for a second term.
Spot gold was little changed at $1,805.95 per ounce by 0639 GMT, after sliding to its lowest since Nov. 5 on Monday. U.S. gold futures was steady at $1,805.50.
The dollar index hit a 16-month peak after Powell’s nomination to the top job at the Fed on Monday, raising bullion’s cost to buyers holding other currencies.
“There isn’t going to be any sudden hawkish shift due to the nomination, but a continuation of current policy with a quicker taper tabled by officials last week,” said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, adding, gold’s fall was more of a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction to the dollar.
Higher interest rates increase the non-interest bearing metal’s opportunity cost.
Technically for gold, ”$1,780 on the downside should be well defended and on the upside we need to see a sustainable close above $1,830-1,850 for its bullish momentum to resume,” said Harshal Barot, a senior research consultant for South Asia at Metals Focus.
Investors also kept tabs on rising COVID-19 cases in parts of Europe which prompted restrictions.
“The COVID resurgence in Europe may cause central banks to back off rate hike expectations and there’s still some need for gold in this kind of environment,” SPI’s Innes said, adding, that the FOMC’s final make-up with three nominations still pending could also affect gold’s trajectory.
Spot silver fell 0.5% to $24.04 per ounce.
“As silver broadly follows gold’s trajectory, we need to see sustainable bullish momentum in gold for silver to rally and potentially outperform gold,” Metals Focus’ Barot said.
Platinum fell 0.1% to $1,010.34, while palladium rose 1.4% to $1,980.69.