Gold hit its lowest level in nearly four weeks on Monday, as expectations of more interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve fueled a rally in dollar and took shine off bullion.

Spot gold fell 0.7% to $1,735.95 per ounce, hitting its lowest since July 27. It is set to fall for a sixth straight session, having registered a 3% fall last week. U.S. gold futures dropped 0.8% to $1,748.50.

“Precious metals are wilting as the scorching U.S. dollar continues its quest to return to recent heights, as markets restore their bets for an ultra-hawkish Fed,” said Han Tan, chief market analyst at Exinity.

Monetary policy clues from the upcoming annual global central banking conference would likely dictate gold’s next move, and prices could be dragged closer to $1,700 if the Fed remains firm on conquering the inflation scourge with more supersized rate hikes, Tan added.

Central bankers would gather this week at their annual retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Friday will be keenly watched.

A cumulative 225 basis points of hikes since March and with more to come have brought a recession closer, according to economists in a Reuters poll, who expect a 50 basis point increase in September.

From a technical point of view, the next key levels to monitor are placed at $1,720 and $1,680, said Carlo Alberto De Casa, external analyst for Kinesis Money.

Yields on the U.S. 10-year treasuries recovered, increasing pressure on gold, he added.
Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, as these increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

The dollar index rose 0.1% making gold more expensive for buyers holding other currencies.