Gold prices edged lower on Wednesday as the U.S. dollar and risk appetite improved. The greenback rose 0.1% and dampened the yellow metal’s demand among investors using rival currencies. Risk sentiment advanced after the U.S. Federal Reserve rescheduled its Jackson Hole symposium to August 27 and decided to hold it virtually. The move eased market participants’ concerns about the Fed’s tapering plans.
Spot gold is currently trading at $1,794.80 per ounce as of 0801 GMT.
The market will be monitoring Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech at the annual economic symposium in Wyoming to see if he will give a tapering timeline. But Goldman Sachs economists predicted that the central bank would likely reduce its bond purchases by $15 billion in November and by the same amount at the meetings that follow. The tapering would be $10 billion of U.S. Treasuries and $5 billion of mortgage-backed securities.
IG Market analyst Kyle Rodda said the Fed might take a softer stance on tapering, which is good news for gold. The central bank might talk about tapering but won’t provide a timeline, he added.
SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes noted that the risk-on narrative dampened gold’s appeal as an inflation hedge. He mentioned other headwinds for the bullion. These are the easing of Delta variant infections in some hotspots and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of vaccinations.
The FDA granted full approval to Pfizer Inc./BioNTech SE COVID-19 vaccine based on the company’s updated clinical trial. Public health officials hope the move will accelerate inoculations. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said that they could get the coronavirus under control by early next year if the vaccinations ramp up. The U.S. has more than 150,000 new cases to date and averages a thousand deaths per day.
In another headwind for gold, the IMF will distribute around $650 billion to its members to provide additional liquidity for the global economy. Recipients can use the allocation to support their economies and step up the fight against COVID-19. Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said they encourage rich countries to channel their allocations to poorer countries through the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust.
In a related development, the holdings of the largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund in the world, SPDR Gold Trust, fell 0.2% from 1,066.66 tons on Monday to 1004.63 tons on Tuesday.