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Gold Prices Decline after Back-to-Back Session Gains

Gold futures pulled back on Wednesday, looking to post their first loss in three sessions, as prices retreated from the highest settlement in nearly two weeks.

U.S. inflation data on Tuesday proved to be supportive for prices of precious metals, lifting gold futures to their highest finish since early September as the U.S. dollar slipped. The consumer-price index climbed another 0.3% in August, compared with a rise of 0.5% in July, the government said.

“Taper uncertainty is the single most important factor for gold, and unless and until, we don’t get any clarity on this, gold prices are likely to remain in a consolidation zone,” Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade, told MarketWatch.

Looking at the economic data, it is very clear that the Federal Reserve “doesn’t have too much pressure to show aggressive stance” in their meeting next week. However, “traders still believe that tapering [of monthly bond purchases] is on the table for this year.”

So the “single most important event for the gold price now is the next week’s meeting and until then, gold prices are likely to continue their whipsaw movements,” said Aslam.

December gold fell $10, or nearly 0.6%, at $1,797.10 an ounce, a day after the yellow metal marked the highest finish for a most-active contract since Sept. 3, FactSet data showed.

Silver for December delivery meanwhile, looked to give back part of Tuesday’s modest gain, losing 2 cents, or nearly 0.1%, to $23.87 an ounce.

The Fed’s meeting next week may not provide the clarity investors are looking for, some analysts said.

“Indeed, investors are waiting for more clarity from the Fed about the timing of the tapering. But, this will probably not arrive in the September meeting, increasing chances of keeping bonds in the current limbo, waiting for a clear directionality,” wrote Carlo Alberto De Casa, analyst at Kinesis Money, in a daily research note.

U.S. data released Wednesday showed that the cost of goods fell in August for the first time in 10 months, with the import price index down 0.3%.

Separately, the New York Fed’s Empire State business conditions index surged 16 points to 34.3 in September, according to the regional Fed bank, though economists had expected a reading of 17.2, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal.

U.S. industrial production rose by a less-than-expected 0.4% last month and capacity utilization climbed to 76.4%, the highest rate since December 2019.

Against that backdrop, the U.S. dollar index was off 0.2% at 92.486, as gauged by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index, a measure of the world’s reserve currency against a half-dozen others. Meanwhile, benchmark 10-year Treasury note yields are up at around 1.295% following a drop Tuesday.

A weaker dollar and lower yields can support buying in bullion which doesn’t offer a yield among investors from overseas. Week to date, gold was holding onto a modest gain, while the dollar and Treasury yields were lower.

Among the other Comex metals, December copper tacked on 1.8% to $4.40 a pound.

October platinum shed 0.4% to $934.30 an ounce, but December palladium rose 0.7% to $1,989 an ounce, looking to recoup a small portion of the 5% loss it suffered Tuesday.

Source: Marketwatch

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