Gold prices edged higher on Wednesday as rising Omicron variant coronavirus cases helped its safe-haven appeal, but trading was range-bound as investors awaited the minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting as rate hike bets grow.
Spot gold rose 0.1% to $1,817.10 per ounce by 1247 GMT, with U.S. gold futures rising 0.2% to $1,818.50.
“Supporting gold is the very high number of COVID cases that feeds into the gold safe-haven appeal,” Ricardo Evangelista, senior analyst at ActivTrades, said.
“The factor offering gold some resistance is the strength of the dollar and the likelihood that the dollar could get even stronger because of the Fed’s tightening monetary policy.”
Markets are awaiting the Fed’s minutes of its Dec. 14-15, 2021 policy meeting, due at 1900 GMT, which could provide clues on the U.S. central bank’s plan on rate hikes and the tapering of its pandemic-induced stimulus.
Higher interest rates increase the opportunity cost of holding gold.
The dollar held below its two-week highs, while benchmark 10-year Treasury yields were slightly lower after rising to their highest level in more than a month in the previous session.
The ADP labour market data will be of greater interest to the gold price, Commerzbank said in a research note. “If the U.S. dollar and/or bond yields respond to the figures, the gold price should also begin moving.”
U.S. non-farm payrolls on Friday are also on the radar.
From a technical point of view, “we would have a new positive signal with the surpass of $1,830, while a decline below $1,800 could bring back the price in the lateral channel between $1,760 and $1,800,” Carlo Alberto De Casa, market analyst at Kinesis, wrote in a note.
Elsewhere, spot silver fell 0.2% to $22.98 an ounce, platinum was up 0.5% at $976.88, and palladium rose 1.9% to $1,906.32.