Gold prices edged up on Wednesday, although strength in the U.S. dollar and bets that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates sooner kept the metal below the key $1,800 mark.
Spot gold rose 0.3% to $1,794.96 per ounce by 0239 GMT, after slipping as much as 1.4% to its lowest since Nov. 5 on Tuesday. U.S. gold futures added 0.6% to $1,793.90 per ounce.
The dollar index was steady and remained close to its highest in 16 months, raising bullion’s cost to buyers holding other currencies.
Investors are betting that the newly renominated Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will need to step up the pace at which the central bank is normalizing monetary policy to better grapple with surging consumer prices.
British businesses reported the fastest growth in new orders since June this month alongside record cost pressures, according to a closely watched business survey that could pave the way for a Bank of England rate rise in December.
An increase in interest rates should reduce bullion’s appeal as higher rates raise the non-interest bearing metal’s opportunity cost.
U.S. business activity slowed moderately in November amid labor shortages and raw material delays, contributing to prices continuing to soar halfway through the fourth quarter.
Indicative of sentiment, SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.6% to 991.11 tons on Tuesday from 985 tons on Monday.
Spot silver fell 0.3% to $23.58 per ounce. Platinum rose 1.1% to $979.99 and palladium gained 1.2% to $1,890.21.
The World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) expects a much larger surplus in the global platinum market this year than it previously forecast and another big oversupply in 2022.