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Markets

Gold prices scale near 4-week high on Powell's dovish tone

  • Spot gold was steady at $1,814.86 per ounce, as of 0312 GMT, after hitting its highest since Aug. 4 at $1,820.50 earlier in the session
30 Aug, 2021

Gold prices rose to a near four-week high on Monday after US Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell stopped short of providing any clear guidance on a stimulus tapering timeline and boosted hopes that interest rates may remain lower for longer.

Spot gold was steady at $1,814.86 per ounce, as of 0312 GMT, after hitting its highest since Aug. 4 at $1,820.50 earlier in the session.

US gold futures edged 0.1% lower to $1,817.

"The market is starting to readjust expectations for US rate hikes after Powell's speech on Friday, which was the green light for gold to move higher," said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management.

In a virtual speech to the Jackson Hole economic conference, Powell offered no signal on when the central bank plans to cut its asset purchases beyond saying it could be "this year" and indicated it would remain cautious in any eventual decision to raise interest rates.

Lower US interest rates put pressure on the dollar and bond yields, increasing the appeal of non-yielding bullion.

Powell's dovish stance pushed the dollar index to a two-week low against its rivals, making gold less expensive for holders of other currencies.

Investors' focus now shifts to the US nonfarm payroll data for August due on Friday, as Powell has suggested an improvement in the labour market is one major remaining prerequisite for tapering.

"Although sentiment has been lifted after Jackson Hole, gold prices would again need to overcome the ominous $1,839 resistance before more additional buying would emerge," Avtar Sandu, a senior commodities manager at Phillip Futures, said in a note.

Meanwhile, speculators raised their net long positions in COMEX gold and silver in the week ended Aug. 24, data from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed.

Silver rose 0.3% to $24.07 per ounce, while platinum gained 0.3% to $1,011.23. Palladium was 0.1% higher at $2,421.49.

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