Gold prices edged higher on Monday on a weaker dollar and a slight decline in benchmark 10-year Treasury yields. A soft greenback makes the bullion cheaper for buyers using other currencies. And lower yields reduce the opportunity cost of owning the non-interest-bearing metal. The Evergrande debacle and its broader impact also supported gold’s appeal as a safe-haven status.
Spot gold is currently trading at $1,750.11 per ounce as of 0850 GMT.
Meanwhile, investors are waiting for Fed officials’ speeches to get clues on the central bank’s interest rate plan. Chairman Jerome Powell and several other policymakers will testify before Congress on the Fed’s response to the pandemic.
Last week, Kansas City Fed President Esther George and Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester said the economy made substantial progress toward the Fed’s goal of maximum employment and a 2% inflation. Those are the central bank’s requirements to begin tapering its $120 billion monthly asset purchases.
IG Market analyst Kyle Rodda noted that the Fed policymakers need to answer a lot of questions. These include the risk of higher inflation and the possible interest rate hike in the first half of next year. He suggested that gold’s story remains about yield, which is tied back to the tapering question.
In physical trading, gold demand in China rose last week due to a seasonal pick-up in activity and the Evergrande crisis. Investors shifted to capital preservation and moved into gold to shield themselves from the potential collapse of the Chinese property developer. The strength of the yuan against the dollar also helped boost gold’s appeal. A weaker greenback makes the yellow metal less expensive for investors using rival currencies. Dealers charged higher premiums of $7-11, from $5-9 during the previous week. Analysts forecast jewelry consumption to rise 43% year-on-year and investment demand to increase by 33%.
In India, bullion demand got a boost from lower prices. Jewelers have started increasing their purchases in anticipation of higher demand during the upcoming festival seasons. The fourth quarter accounts for around a third of annual gold sales in India because it is the wedding season, and because of the Diwali and Dhanteras festivals.
In a related development, the holdings of the largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund in the world, SPDR Gold Trust, rose by 0.1% from 992.65 tons to 993.52 tons on Friday.