NEW YORK: Gold prices were set to wrap up their best quarter since June 2020 on Friday on investor expectations the US Federal Reserve will slow its interest rate hikes after a fast-paced tightening cycle tempered bullion’s safe-haven rally this year.
On the last trading day of 2022, spot gold rose 0.3% to $1,820.00 per ounce by 1227 GMT, while US gold futures were steady at $1,826.00. Gold is expected to remain range-bound due to low market participation, and prices could rise further once it breaks above resistance at $1,840, said Vandana Bharti, assistant vice-president, commodity research at SMC Global Securities.
Bullion is only down about 0.5% in 2022, having recovered from a more than two-year low hit in September.
“For most of the year, gold was under pressure from a hawkish Fed. But by the end of the year, it saw some recovery and got a lifeline on expectations that the Fed might slow down,” said Ilya Spivak, head of global macro at Tastytlive.
Gold price moves will continue to be dictated by the Fed’s response to bubbling inflation in 2023, analysts have said. After prices reached a near record above $2,000 an ounce in March as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine spurred safe-haven flows, demand for the non-interest-paying asset has waned because of the higher interest rates. Bharti also said investment in gold ETFs could improve in 2023, adding that central banks are aggressively buying safe-haven gold, “a hint that they don’t have much confidence in the global economy”.