Gold edges higher as dollar slips, rate hike fears linger

(Reuters) - Gold edged up on Friday as the dollar retreated and recession fears buoyed its safe-haven appeal, but looming interest rates hikes set the non-yielding asset on course for a weekly dip.

FILE PHOTO: Gold bullion is displayed at GoldSilver Central's office in Singapore June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su

Spot gold rose 0.4% to $1,830.22 per ounce by 2:20 p.m. ET (1820 GMT), after earlier touching a one-week low of $1,816.10. U.S. gold futures settled up at $1,830.3.

Boosting gold’s appeal, the dollar index fell 0.2%.

“There are a confluence of forces that are driving gold prices in both directions, forcing it to remain in a small range,” said TD Securities’ commodity strategist Daniel Ghali.

“We have risks of a recession and signs of an imminent slowdown in global growth driving inflows into gold as a safe haven. On the other hand, we have Fed’s commitment to fighting inflation contributing to a significant rise in real rates.”

Bullion is considered an inflation hedge but higher U.S. interest rates increase the opportunity cost of holding it.

“We do think that gold has some minor upward potential in the second half of the year, forecast is for $1,900,” said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.

In the short term, however, the Fed will hike rates aggressively, providing some headwinds for gold, Fritsch added.

In the physical market, dealers offered bigger discounts in India this week to lure buyers as the wedding season concluded, while some consumers in China bought bullion to hedge against economic concerns. [GOL/AS]

“Rising recession risk is preventing outright short positions for now, but we expect gold to revert to tracking real yields for the rest of 2022, pressuring gold prices lower (albeit with a higher floor given the physical market response to lower prices),” Standard Chartered analyst Suki Cooper said in a note.

Spot silver rose 1.2% to $21.19 per ounce, platinum was up 0.2% to $908.50 while palladium gained 1.7% to $1,876.14.

Reporting by Ashitha Shivaprasad and Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Devika Syamnath