NEW YORK: Gold prices dropped more than 1% on Wednesday and were on track to snap a five-session winning streak, weighed by a rebound in the dollar ahead of the release of the US central bank’s minutes from its May meeting.
Spot gold was down 1.1% at $1,846.27 per ounce as of 12:06 a.m. ET (1606 GMT). US gold futures dropped 1.2% to $1,844.00.
The dollar gained 0.4%, after hitting its lowest level in a month on Tuesday. A stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for overseas buyers.
“The market is fixated on the Fed’s path for rate hikes ... If the minutes signal couple more rate hikes, it could hurt gold. But if the Fed takes a cautious tone that would be good news for gold,” said Edward Moya, senior analyst with OANDA.
The US Federal Reserve is due to release the minutes from its May 3-4 Federal Open Market Committee policy meeting at 2 p.m. ET (1800 GMT).
Investors expect 50-basis-point rate hikes in June and July. The Fed Chair Jerome Powell has promised to raise rates as high as needed until there is evidence that inflation is dropping.
Even though gold is often seen as a hedge against inflation, rate hikes erode its appeal as they tend to lift bond yields, raising the opportunity cost of holding zero-yield bullion.
Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic on Tuesday warned that headlong rate hikes could create “significant economic dislocation.”
Meanwhile, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde gained key allies for her plan to raise rates out of negative territory this summer.
Spot silver fell 1% to $21.86 per ounce, platinum shed 0.9% to $945.52 and palladium was down 0.2% at $2,003.29.
“Platinum and palladium are being kept in check by the ongoing problems in the automotive industry, which is slowing demand for these precious metals,” Commerzbank analysts said in a note.