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Gold Prices Are at A 6-week Low as The FOMC Minutes Approach

Aria Thomas

Feb 22, 2023 11:57


Gold prices stayed just above a six-week low on Wednesday, as markets remained cautious ahead of the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve's February meeting and stronger-than-anticipated U.S. economic data bolstered the dollar.

In the wake of stronger-than-anticipated January inflation figures, bullion prices traded within a narrow band throughout the week. Along with indicators of resilience in the U.S. economy, they provide the Fed with sufficient space to continue rising interest rates.

At 19:13 E.T., spot gold was unchanged at $1,835.83 per ounce, while gold futures increased 0.1% to $1,845.70 per ounce (00:13 GMT). It is widely anticipated that the Fed's aggressive tone would be reaffirmed in the minutes due later in the day.

This week, the Fed's favored inflation indicator, the Personal Consumption Expenditures price index, will be released on Thursday. It is anticipated that the index stayed quite high in January.

Increasing interest rates are unfavorable for non-yielding assets such as gold and other precious metals because they boost the dollar and Treasury yields and the opportunity cost of owning gold.

The U.S. PMIs for February were also better than anticipated, according to statistics released on Tuesday. Any evidence of resilience in the U.S. economy offers the Fed greater room to continue raising interest rates, as the bank has said it would do in the near future.

But, fears about a potential U.S. economic downturn continued, especially in light of Tuesday's statistics showing a weakening housing market.

Other precious metals maintained a narrow trading range on Wednesday. Futures for platinum increased 0.1% to $945.95 per ounce, while futures for silver increased marginally to $21.900 per ounce.

Copper futures rose substantially on Tuesday as a result of the U.S. PMIs that were stronger than anticipated.

On Wednesday, high-grade copper futures stayed near a three-week high of $4.2170 per pound, following a 0.8% increase in the previous session.

The red metal was also boosted by confidence over China's economic rebound, particularly after the country maintained record-low interest rates this week.