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Gold prices steady amid rate jitters, copper flat with China in focus

Published 29-05-2024, 10:12 am
© Reuters.

Investing.com-- Gold prices steadied in Asian trade on Wednesday as focus remained squarely on upcoming cues on U.S. inflation and interest rates, although a somewhat hawkish outlook on rates kept traders cautious towards metal markets. 

Among industrial metals, copper prices also traded rangebound as optimism over Chinese stimulus measures cooled and as traders awaited more economic cues from the world’s biggest copper importer. 

Spot gold fell 0.1% to $2,358.93 an ounce, while gold futures rose 0.1% to $2,359.80 an ounce ahead of their expiration this week.

Prices of the yellow metal remained steady even as the dollar and Treasury yields firmed in overnight trade. 

Gold steadies, interest rate cues in focus 

While gold prices were steady, they remained about $100 below record highs hit last week.

Focus among metal markets was squarely on more cues on U.S. interest rate cuts, especially as a slew of hawkish signals from the Fed saw traders steadily price out expectations for a cut in September. 

Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari warned on Tuesday that some policymakers had not ruled out more rate hikes to quell sticky inflation- a scenario that bodes poorly for metal markets.

Kashkari’s comments came before a string of more Fed speakers this week, as well as PCE price index data, which is the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge. 

High interest rates herald more pressure on gold, given that they push up the opportunity cost of investing in non-yielding assets. 

Platinum, silver outperform gold in recent weeks 

Other precious metals were a mixed bag on Wednesday. Platinum futures fell 0.2% to $1,069.00 an ounce, while silver futures rose 0.5% to $32.312 an ounce.

But the two metals had vastly outperformed gold in recent weeks, as their exposure to industrial markets saw them caught up in a speculative frenzy that boosted industrial markets. 

Copper steadies, more China cues awaited 

Benchmark copper futures on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.6% to $10,566.50 a tonne, while one-month copper futures fell 0.1% to $4.8715 a pound. 

Both contracts steadied well below recent record highs, as a speculative frenzy in industrial metals ran dry. 

Top copper importer China announced more supportive measures for the property sector this week. But traders took little cheer from the move, as they awaited more cues on how Beijing will execute and fund the new stimulus measures.

Focus this week is also on key purchasing managers index data from China, due Friday, for more economic cues from the world’s biggest copper importer. 


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