Gold hovers just off seven-week lows, capped by Fed policy tilt

·2 min read
A salesman shows gold necklaces to a customer at a jewellery showroom, after authorities eased lockdown restrictions that were imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease, in Kolkata

By Eileen Soreng

(Reuters) - Gold prices slipped on Tuesday, ceding some of the previous session's 1%-plus gains, as the dollar ticked higher and markets dug in to hear what Fed Chair Jerome Powell would say later in the day about the bank's monetary policy stance.

Spot gold traded at $1,779.10 per ounce by 0739 GMT, down 0.2% on the day, having earlier risen as much as $1,789.89. It stands well off the seven-week lows hit last week, when a hawkish tone from the U.S. Federal Reserve boosted the dollar and sent gold prices reeling.

U.S. gold futures were down 0.1% at $1,780.5 per ounce.

"The Fed is not in the business of changing its mind quickly... Powell is going to reinforce the rhetoric that we heard last week," DailyFX currency strategist Ilya Spivak said, adding that markets would seek clues on what scope there was for policy tightening.

The dollar index inched up 0.1%, but stayed off its recent two-month highs.

Powell, who will appear before Congress from 1800 GMT, in prepared remarks said inflation had "increased notably in recent months".

Last week, gold tumbled 6% after the Fed signalled on Wednesday that interest rates could rise in 2023. Higher interest rates translate into higher opportunity cost of holding gold.

Avtar Sandu, a senior commodities manager at Phillip Futures, said in a note that despite Monday's bounce, "gold prices were being traded mostly within last Friday's chart pattern, a pattern that is more reflective of a pause and indecision."

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.3% on Monday.

Elsewhere, silver fell 0.3% to $25.85 per ounce, palladium gained 0.7% at $2,602.68 and platinum rose 0.4% to $1,057.12.

(Reporting by Brijesh Patel, Arundhati Sarkar and Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel, Aditya Soni)

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