Gold firms as Fed signals slowdown in rate hikes

(Reuters) - Gold prices rose to a near one-week high on Thursday, after minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s November meeting signalled it may soon slow the pace of interest rate hikes.

FILE PHOTO: An ingot of 99.99 percent pure gold is cast at the Krastsvetmet non-ferrous metals plant in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia March 10, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Manzyuk

Spot gold rose 0.5% to $1,757.91 per ounce, as of 1016 GMT. U.S. gold futures advanced 0.7% to $1,757.10.

The minutes of the Fed’s Nov. 1-2 policy meeting showed that a “substantial majority” of Fed policymakers agreed it would “likely soon be appropriate” to slow the pace of interest rate hikes.

The dollar index held onto losses after sliding 1% overnight, making bullion cheaper for overseas buyers. [USD/]

“Investor expectations are moving on a dovish path for the Federal Reserve,” Carlo Alberto De Casa, external analyst for Kinesis Money said, adding a weaker U.S. dollar was also a positive catalyst for the bullion.

High interest rates have kept a leash on gold’s traditional status as a hedge against inflation and other uncertainties this year, as they translate into higher opportunity cost to hold the non-yielding asset.

The U.S. central bank delivered a fourth consecutive 75 basis-point (bps) rate hike earlier this month, and market participants now widely expect a 50 bps rate increase at the December meeting.

Rising real rates until early 2023 remained a challenging backdrop for the non-yielding gold, ANZ analysts said in a note.

But intensifying recessionary and geopolitical risks into 2023, robust emerging markets’ physical demand and record high purchases by central banks suggest gold can still outperform against real rates, ANZ added.

Spot silver edged up 0.2% to $21.56 per ounce, platinum shed 0.5% to $991.30, while palladium gained 0.6% to $1,892.25.

Market activity was likely to be muted by the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.

(Graphic: Gold technicals: )

Reporting by Kavya Guduru in Bengaluru; Editing by Eileen Soreng