Gold holds tight range on investor caution over Powell remarks

Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,808.01 per ounce

  
Gold bars are pictured on display at Korea Gold Exchange in Seoul, South Korea, August 6, 2020. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Gold bars are pictured on display at Korea Gold Exchange in Seoul, South Korea, August 6, 2020. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

 Gold steadied in a tight range on Wednesday, propped up by a subdued dollar, as investors digested monetary policy cues from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.

Spot gold was up 0.2% at $1,807.70 per ounce by 1235 GMT. U.S. gold futures rose 0.2% to $1,808.90.

Powell told the U.S. Senate Banking Committee that monetary policy still needed to be accommodative with economic recovery "uneven and far from complete". His testimony continues later in the day. 

He also mentioned that the increase in yields was due to higher inflation and growth expectations. 

"Powell did say that the recent run-up in bond yields was a statement of confidence in the U.S. economy, and that ... could mean the Fed is willing to allow rates to run even higher, which will create a challenge for gold," Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen said.

"For gold to recover again, it needs to be the inflation focus. The focus has faded and has been substituted by the current nervousness about the yields going higher."

U.S. Treasury yields hovered close to a one-year high, while the dollar .DXY held near the six-week low of 89.941 it reached overnight. 

Rising yields tend to hurt bullion's appeal as an inflation hedge since they increase the opportunity cost of holding the metal.

But Powell's remarks also indicated that "the stimulus trade is unlikely to go away anytime in the next six months", Michael Langford, director at corporate advisory AirGuide said, adding the potential impact of inflation as a result of stimulus measures will be a key upward driver for gold.

Silver rose 0.4% to $27.72 an ounce. Platinum climbed 2.4% to $1,266.30, while palladium added 0.9% to $2,372.29.

The market expects the price difference between gold and platinum to narrow, amid an outlook for higher demand for the auto-catalyst due to new green technologies, Saxo Bank's Hansen said.

(Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan and Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Macfie) ((Sathya.Narayanan@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780, outside U.S. +91 80 6182 2732; Reuters Messaging: sathya.narayanan.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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