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Gold trapped in tight range as central bank meetings loom

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Gold edged lower on Tuesday due to a slightly stronger dollar, but prices were stuck in a tight range as investors refrained from making big bets ahead of key central bank meetings.

Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,707.29 per ounce, as of 0313 GMT. U.S. gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,705.10.

The dollar rose 0.1% against its rivals after falling in the last two sessions, making greenback-priced bullion more expensive for buyers holding other currencies.

“Gold remains in a comatose state, unable to sustain gains above $1,720 and unable to rally even as the U.S. dollar fell overnight,” OANDA senior analyst Jeffrey Halley said.

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“That keeps the technical picture for gold very negative. It has an initial support at $1,700, but a sustained break and a couple of daily closes below $1,675 signal a much larger fall is in play.”

Offering some respite to gold, expectations for a 100-basis-point rate hike by the Federal Reserve at its policy meeting next week stood at about 30%, according to CME’s FedWatch Tool https://bit.ly/3vlvxSL after reaching as high as 80% last week.

Market participants are now anticipating a 75-basis-point hike by the Fed at its July 26-27 meeting. The European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan both are meeting on Thursday, with the ECB widely expected to deliver a 25-basis-point hike.

Although gold is seen as an inflation hedge, higher interest rates raise the opportunity cost of holding bullion, which yields no interest.

Meanwhile, SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.5% to 1,009.06 tonnes on Monday, its lowest since late-January.

Elsewhere, spot silver fell 0.3% to $18.61 per ounce and platinum slipped 0.6% to $857.40, while palladium climbed 1.2% to $1,877.89.

(Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)


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