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Before Fed Hints And A Flood of U.S. Data, Gold's Early-year Rally Fizzles

Haiden Holmes

Jan 18, 2023 11:21


The yellow metal held below a level not seen in eight months on Wednesday as markets remained cautious ahead of a flurry of Federal Reserve speakers and U.S. economic data due this week.

Despite the fact that projections of a less aggressive Federal Reserve and the possibility of a recession have spurred strong gains in gold over the past two weeks, traders are still looking for further confirmation of this trend. This week, several Fed officials are expected to appear, with Vice Chair Lael Brainard on Thursday being the most notable.

Numerous U.S. economic metrics will also shed insight on the performance of the world's largest economy in December, beginning with producer price index inflation, retail sales, and industrial output data expected Wednesday evening.

Spot gold remained constant at $1,908.74 per ounce at 19:19 EDT, while gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,911.30 per ounce (00:19 GMT). Tuesday saw declines of 0.5% for both assets.

Last week, gold climbed sharply to a more than eight-month high on the strength of a falling dollar and growing concerns of a recession this year. The yellow metal is presently trading almost $160 behind its all-time high due to an increase in wages that the Federal Reserve would hike interest rates at a slower pace this year.

This week, the dollar rebounded from a seven-month low against a basket of currencies, regaining some momentum. As traders awaited a Bank of Japan policy meeting slated for later in the day, dollar gains were limited.

Given that the BOJ's ultra-loose monetary policy tightening portends greater global economic headwinds, any signals of hawkishness from the central bank might shock the dollar and provide extra support for gold.

Other precious metals maintained tight ranges on Wednesday.

In response to signs of economic strength in China, the world's largest copper importer, copper prices dropped significantly on Wednesday.

Futures for high-grade copper fell 0.2% to $4.2272 a pound after gaining over 2% in the prior session.

According to figures released Tuesday, China's economic growth slowed sharply in 2022 compared to the previous year. However, better-than-expected growth in the fourth quarter, particularly in December, has fuelled optimism that the nation will enjoy a resurgence this year following the lifting of the majority of anti-COVID measures.