Gold hit by Fed's Powell comments on rate hikes

Gold prices dropped Tuesday for a third day driven by U.S. Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell’s comments on “being prepared” to raise interest rates twice this year.

Speaking at an event sponsored by the Wall Street Journal, Powell said rates could rice as early as September and once again in December, as long as the economy performs as expected.

Last week bullion prices showed encouraging signs of recovery after the Fed said the U.S. economy was growing “moderately” after a first-quarter stall, with a pickup in hiring, moderate growth in household spending and “some improvement” in the long-shaky housing market.

Prices rose Friday to the highest level in close to four weeks, trading at more than $1,203 per ounce.

Gold futures for August delivery declined 0.5% to $1,177.30 an ounce at 9:30 am ET, on the Comex in New York. Three days of losses would be the longest streak since June 5.