Gold prices were flat on Wednesday, as investors held back from making big bets ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting minutes, which could offer clues on further interest rate hikes.
Spot gold was flat at $1,739.90 per ounce by 0121 GMT. U.S. gold futures
edged 0.1% higher to $1,741.60.
“There is some nervousness in the market ahead of the Fed minutes,” said Edward Meir, an analyst with ED&F Man Capital Markets.
Market participants are awaiting the minutes of Fed’s Nov. 1-2 policy meeting due at 1900 GMT. U.S. durable goods data and weekly initial jobless claims are also on the radar.
At the beginning of this month, the U.S. central bank delivered a fourth consecutive 75 basis-point rate hike to tame inflation in what has become the fastest tightening of monetary policy in 40 years.
The Fed may need to raise interest rates to a higher level and hold them there for longer in order to successfully moderate consumer demand and bring down high inflation, Kansas City Fed President Esther George said on Tuesday.
Although gold is seen as a hedge against inflation, rising U.S. interest rates dull non-yielding bullion’s appeal.
“In the near term, expect gold prices to work a bit higher from here into year-end because I see the dollar weakening some more and we are very close to peaking out on inflation and interest rates,” Meir said.
Fed fund futures are now pricing in a 79% chance of 50-basis point hike in the December meeting.
SPDR Gold Trust , the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.10% to 906.93 tons on Tuesday from 906.06 tons on Monday.
Spot silver eased 0.3% to $21.01 per ounce, platinum rose 0.2% to $992.62, while palladium fell 0.2% to $1,857.30.