⌛ Did you miss ProPicks’ 13% gains in May? Subscribe now & catch June’s top AI-picked stocks early.Unlock Stocks

Gold settles above $1,900 first time in 2 weeks as dollar, yields cool

Published 08/23/2023, 12:35 AM
Updated 08/23/2023, 03:54 PM
© Reuters.

Investing.com -- Gold prices hit 2-week highs and settled above the key $1,900 an ounce level Wednesday as the dollar and Treasury yields retreated from recent highs ahead of Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell’s speech later in the week at the central bank’s annual policy event in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

The Dollar Index’s rally paused at two-month highs, while Treasury yields fell slightly after reaching over 20-year peaks as market makers awaited Powell’s speech on Friday. 

This allowed spot prices to re-enter the $1,900 berth, although the outlook for the yellow metal still remained dull — or, at best, uncertain — amid concerns over higher U.S. interest rates.

Gold futures’ most-active December contract on New York’s Comex settled at $1,948.10 per ounce, up $22.10, or 1.1%, on the day. It hit a two-week high of $1,949.65 earlier and was up 1.6% week-to-date, after four previous weeks of declines that led to a net loss of 4%. 

Jackson Hole, Powell speech in focus 

Markets were now focused squarely on an address by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell at the Jackson Hole Symposium on Friday.

Analysts warned that Powell could flag an era of higher U.S. interest rates, especially given that inflation has remained sticky and the labor market is strong.

Any signals on higher U.S. rates are likely to spark more losses in gold, given that rising rates push up the opportunity cost of investing in the yellow metal.

This trade had battered gold over the past year, with the metal coming under renewed pressure in August after data showed U.S. inflation remained sticky in July.

Despite a recovery this week, gold prices were still trading close to five-month lows, with a recovery in the yellow metal expected to be short-lived as U.S. rates remain higher for longer.

Copper up despite mixed PMIs 

Among industrial metals, copper prices also benefited from weakness in the dollar, with futures rising 1.4% to $3.811 a pound in Wednesday's late afternoon trade in New York.

Business activity in the U.S. private sector  expanded at a softening pace in early August, with S&P Global Composite PMI falling to 50.4 from 52 in July. This reading came in worse than the market expectation of 52. Readings from Japan and Australia showed some resilience, although the outlook for the two economies remained under pressure from souring sentiment towards China. 

Also in focus was any uncertainty over further stimulus measures from China, after the People’s Bank disappointed markets with a smaller-than-expected interest rate cut this week.

China is the world’s largest copper importer, and is facing a slowing post-COVID economic recovery due to headwinds from weak spending and a potential property market crisis.

Concerns over China had also battered copper prices over the past year.

(Additional reporting by Ambar Warrick)


Latest comments

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.