Tuesday, 24 May, 2022

Gold prices hold ground

NEW YORK: Gold prices were steady on Wednesday as investors refrained from making big bets ahead of a U.S. central bank decision on the pace of policy tightening, while anxiety over Ukraine kept bullion supported near the previous session’s 10-week high.

Spot gold held its ground at $1,846.87 per ounce, as of 0325 GMT, after hitting its highest level since Nov. 19 on Tuesday. US gold futures were down 0.3 per cent at $1,847.50, report agencies.

Gold will be supported “as long as they (the Fed) don’t spook the markets with anything new, as long as they don’t advance the narrative and things sound basically about where they are, which is 3 to 4 rate hikes this year,” DailyFX currency strategist Ilya Spivak said.

U.S. President Joe Biden has said he would consider personal sanctions on President Vladimir Putin if Russia invades Ukraine, as Western leaders stepped up military preparations and made plans to shield Europe from a potential energy supply shock.

The Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting will end later in the day, and Fed funds futures have fully priced in a quarter-point tightening for the March meeting, plus three more for 2022.

Although gold is considered a hedge against inflation and geopolitical risks, interest rate hikes would raise the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.