Gold inches lower on firmer dollar ahead of Fed meet

Ivan Schwartz
March 21, 2018

United States gold futures for April delivery were unchanged at $1,312.30.

The US Federal Reserve is holding a 2-day policy meeting starting Tuesday.

Spot gold fell for a fourth straight session and was down 0.1 per cent at $1,312.36 an ounce at 1322 GMT, having earlier dropped to $1,307.51, its lowest since March 1.

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"Gold is trading in a relatively narrow range leading into the Fed meeting, continuing a period of extremely low volatility for the precious metal", said Jordan Eliseo, chief economist at gold trader ABC Bullion. But the solid growth outlook for the U.S., which with the help of fiscal policy will to continue well into 2019, will motivate the Fed to hike interest rates four times this year, more than its most recent median projection suggests. The gold prices would be more expensive for holders of foreign currency on the robustness of dollar, while a rise in USA rates lifts the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.

Fed will hike more in order to keep inflation low: With inflation rising, the FOMC will be more confident in rising rates further towards, and finally above the neutral level, estimated at 2¾%.

Holdings at the SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, holdings rose 1.26 per cent, their best one-day percentage rise since Jan 18, to 850.84 tonnes on Monday from 840.22 tonnes on Friday. Platinum for April added 4.2 dollars, or 0.44 percent, to close at 954.4 dollars per ounce.

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