Gold at 1-month trough as higher US rates dominate sentiment

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  • Dollar at a 10-month peak
  • Kashkari:40% chance of Fed needing ‘meaningfully’ higher rates
  • SPDR Gold Trust holdings lowest since August 2019

By Swati Verma

Sept 27 (Reuters) – Gold prices traded near their weakest levels in more than a month on Wednesday, beaten down by an assurgent U.S. dollar as markets made adjustments to a rising interest rate scenario.

Spot gold was subdued at $1,899.98 per ounce by 0250 GMT, after breaching a key $1,900 threshold and hitting its lowest level since Aug. 23 on Tuesday. U.S. gold futures eased 0.1% to $1,918.20.

The dollar stood strong at a 10-month high against its major peers as Treasury yields stayed elevated on the prospect of higher-for-longer U.S. rates.

There is a 40% chance that the Federal Reserve will need to raise rates “meaningfully” to beat inflation, Minneapolis Fed Bank President Neel Kashkari said on Tuesday.

Higher interest rates raise the opportunity cost of holding bullion, which is priced in dollars and does not yield any interest.

The prevailing higher-for-longer rate narrative seems to be overriding safe-haven flows for the yellow metal, IG market strategist Yeap Jun Rong said.

“It may have to take a series of data ahead, more notably the upcoming inflation and job report, to provide some justification that the Fed may not follow through with its last rate hike and have more policy flexibility for rate cuts if needed.”

The U.S. personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index, Fed’s preferred inflation measure, is due on Friday. The Labor Department will release the monthly employment report on Oct. 6 followed by the CPI report on Oct. 12.

U.S. consumer confidence dropped to a four-month low in September, weighed down by persistent worries about higher prices and rising fears of a recession.

SPDR Gold Trust GLD, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings touched a more than four-year low.

Spot silver dropped 0.4% to $22.78 per ounce, platinum was flat at $904.04 and palladium gained 0.7% to $1,231.79.

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