Gold back over $1900 an ounce early Wednesday before the Jackson Hole conference as some investors did some bargain hunting while awaiting further signals on the state of the global economy at the end of the week.
Central bankers including Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell are scheduled to speak at the Fed’s annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. With Fed policymakers set to meet again in September, his comments will be parsed for signs on the Fed’s future actions to rein in high inflation. The central bank has raised rates by 5.25 percentage points since March 2022 to curb inflation. Higher interest rates are typically bearish for gold, so an end or a pause to rate hikes would give precious metals a boost.
Front-month gold futures rose 0.2% Tuesday to settle at $1,926.00 an ounce on Comex, and the December contract rallied 0.5% in the first two days of the week. Bullion is down 4.1% in August after rising 4.1% in July and losing 2.7% in June. The metal gained 5.7% in the first half of the year after falling $2.40 in 2022. The December contract is currently up $14.00 (+0.73%) an ounce to $1940.00 and the DG spot price is $1917.00.
Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.5% Tuesday to their lowest levels since mid-January 2020, Reuters reported.
The dollar index has come off two-month highs, giving gold some support.
Powell’s speech in Jackson Hole on Friday will be particularly closely watched, as will remarks by European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde and other leaders. Her comments are also being anticipated for signals on whether European policymakers are leaning toward another rate increase or a pause.
For the U.S., about 86.5% of investors tracked by the CME FedWatch Tool are betting that the Fed will keep its federal funds rate unchanged in September at 5.25% to 5.50%. Just 13.5% expect it to raise rates another 25 basis points.
In economic reports this week, U.S. existing home sales for July came in near a quarter-century low on Tuesday. U.S. weekly initial jobless claims come out Thursday and University of Michigan consumer sentiment for August is scheduled for Friday.
Front-month silver futures gained 0.4% Tuesday to settle at $23.76 an ounce on Comex, and the December contract added 3.1% in the first two days of the week. Silver is down 4.8% this month after advancing 8.5% in July and dropping 2.4% in June. It retreated 4.2% in the first half of the year after rising 3% in 2022. The December contract is currently up $0.722 (+3.04%) an ounce to $24.485 and the DG spot price is $24.21.
Spot palladium increased 1.9% Tuesday to $1,279.00 an ounce, and it gained 0.5% in the first two days of the week. Palladium is down 1.4% this month after rising 3.6% in July and falling 9.5% in June. Palladium plummeted 31% in the first half of the year after losing 5.7% in 2022. Currently, the DG spot price is up $23.20 an ounce to $1303.00.
Spot platinum rose 1% Tuesday to $928.50 an ounce and advanced 1.1% in the first two days of the week. Platinum is down 3.1% this month after gaining 5.2% in July and falling 9.3% in June. Platinum dropped 15% in the first half of the year after surging 10% in 2022. The DG spot price is currently up $12.70 an ounce to $940.10.
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