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Markets

Gold eases as dollar ticks higher; markets eye stimulus details

  • US Fed's Beige Book due at 1900 GMT.
  • Fed officials expect US economy rebound on vaccinations.
13 Jan 2021

Gold prices eased on Wednesday, reversing earlier gains, as the dollar firmed and US yields held close to recent highs, with investors awaiting for more details on American fiscal stimulus measures.

Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,853.80 per ounce by 1107 GMT, while US gold futures were up 0.6% at $1,854.30.

"We've got this uncertainty about what's going to be coming on the fiscal stimulus front over the course of a few months and until we get more details on that, gold could go either way," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

"The risk is to the downside for gold. Concerns about inflation expectations and a firmer dollar have acted as a little bit of an anchor on the gold price."

US President-elect Joe Biden said he would unveil a plan on Thursday to inject the coronavirus-hit economy with "trillions" of dollars in relief measures.

Bullion is seen as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement that could result from large stimulus measures.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields hovered close to near 10-month highs, and the dollar index held firm, making gold expensive for holders of other currencies.

US Federal Reserve officials expect a quick economic recovery if COVID-19 vaccinations gather pace, but that could leave markets guessing about the outlook for the central bank's monetary policy.

"If the US economy is ticking along nicely, the Fed will look to act. The reality is, its balance sheets are bloated and any improvement in the outlook will at least reduce its seamless efforts," said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.

The release of the Fed's "Beige Book" survey of businesses is awaited later on Wednesday.

Among other precious metals, silver dipped 0.7% to $25.39 an ounce, platinum fell 0.2% to $1,073.53 and palladium was up 0.1% at $2,393.72.