Gold little changed as traders brace for Fed’s Powell’s speech

By Harshit Verma

(Reuters) – Gold prices were nearly steady on Thursday despite a stronger dollar and an uptick in bond yields as caution sets in ahead of Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell’s speech at the Jackson Hole symposium.

Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,916.69 per ounce by 01:48 p.m. EDT (1748 GMT). U.S. gold futures settled 0.1% lower at $1,947.10.

The Fed is holding its annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming from Aug. 24 to Aug. 26, with investors waiting for Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech on Friday at 10:05 a.m. EDT for confirmation on whether interest rates are going to stay higher for longer.

“The expectation is still that most Fed speakers will continue to pound the drum of the need to fight off inflationary pressures,” said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures.

Data showed, the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week as labour market conditions remained tight despite the Fed’s aggressive rate hike.

The “strong jobs market continues to portend a Fed that would need to remain higher for longer,” added Meger.

Higher U.S. rates raise the opportunity cost of holding gold, which yields no interest.

A bounce in the dollar and U.S. Treasury yields after the jobless claims data, also dented bullion’s appeal. [US/] [USD/]

Spot silver fell 0.8% to $24.13 per ounce and platinum rose 0.8% at $937.38. Palladium dropped 3.2% to $1,232.86.

For silver, immediate resistance at $24.50 will be on watch next, and moving past this level may potentially pave the way to retest its year-to-date high of around $26, said Yeap Jun Rong, a market strategist at IG.

(Reporting by Harshit Verma in Bengaluru; editing by David Evans and Krishna Chandra Eluri)