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Gold price climbs 2% in wake of Powell’s comments on slower rate hikes

Jerome Powell, Chair of the Federal Reserve of the United States. (Image by Brookings Institution, Flickr.)

Gold prices saw a significant jump on Thursday to surpass the key $1,800 per ounce pivot, as prospects of slower rate hikes from the Federal Reserve and signs of cooling US inflation gave support to the non-yielding metal.

Spot gold rose 2.0% to $1,802.10 per ounce by 12:40 p.m. ET, having reached as high as $1,803.94 earlier in the session. US gold futures gained 3.2% to trade at 1,816.70 per ounce in New York.

[Click here for an interactive chart of gold prices]

“We’ve established a price uptrend on the daily chart which invited technical-based buying… we’re seeing the dovish lean by (Fed Chair Jerome Powell) supporting the commodity markets and seen the US dollar index back off,” said Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco Metals, in a Reuters report.

On Wednesday, Powell said it was time to slow the pace of coming interest rate hikes, but added that controlling inflation “will require holding policy at a restrictive level for some time”.

The US dollar fell more than 1% to a near four-month low against its rivals following those comments, making gold less expensive for overseas buyers.

Traders are currently pricing in a 91% probability that the Fed increases rates by 50 basis points on December 14. Further supporting bets around slower rate hikes, data showed moderation in the inflation trend last month, boosting interest in gold, analysts said.

On the technical front, gold is trading above its 50-day, 100-day and 200-day moving averages, which is considered a bullish signal by traders.

(With files from Reuters)