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Gold prices slide as dollar rebounds with Fed officials in focus

Published 11/07/2023, 01:52 PM
© Reuters.
- Gold prices fell further in Asian trade on Tuesday, hit by a rebound in the dollar and Treasury yields before a string of major Federal Reserve speakers this week.

Among industrial metals, copper prices fell sharply after trade data from major importer China largely missed expectations. 

The dollar rebounded from six-week lows in overnight trade after Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari warned that it was too soon to call an end to the Fed’s rate hike cycle. 

His comments saw traders scale back some bets on a sustained Fed pause this year, and also spurred steep losses in non-yielding assets such as gold, which has become especially sensitive to interest rates over the past year.

Spot gold fell 0.3% to $1,971.43 an ounce, while gold futures expiring in December fell 0.5% to $1,977.95 an ounce by 00:15 ET (05:15 GMT). 

Gold saw extended declines in recent sessions, as traders also priced in a smaller risk premium on the yellow metal from the Israel-Hamas war. A lack of meaningful escalation in the conflict dented safe haven demand for the yellow metal. 

Fed speakers loom with Powell at the helm

Markets are now awaiting talks from a string of major Fed officials this week, most notably Chair Jerome Powell, who is set to speak at two separate events on Wednesday and Friday. 

Traders will be looking to see whether Powell maintains his hawkish rhetoric from last week, or tempers it in the face of some cooling in the labor market. 

While Powell had largely maintained his hawkish stance at a meeting last week, markets took his comments as a sign that the Fed was considering a pause, especially after data showed a bigger-than-expected decline in October nonfarm payrolls.

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But this provided limited support to gold, as traders largely pivoted into risk-driven assets. The outlook for the yellow metal was also muted, given that U.S. rates are set to remain higher for longer. 

Beyond Powell, other Fed officials including Austan Goolsbee, Christopher Waller and Lorie Logan are also set to speak this week.

Copper slides after China trade data disappoints 

Copper prices fell sharply on Tuesday, reversing some gains made over the past week after data showed that China’s exports fell more than expected in October, while the country’s trade surplus narrowed to its worst level in 17 months.

Copper futures sank 0.5% to $3.6922 a pound.

While Chinese copper imports still surged to a 10-month high in October, the weakness in exports raised concerns over a slowdown in China’s biggest economic drivers. 

Imports were bolstered chiefly by a string of stimulus measures from Beijing in recent months, which are expected to somewhat boost the Chinese economy in the coming months.

But year-to-date copper imports were still down nearly 7%, as demand cooled in the world's largest copper importer.

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