June 28 (Reuters) – Gold prices on Wednesday fell to their lowest in nearly 4 months on bets for interest rates remaining higher for longer, while US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reiterated a hawkish stance.
Spot gold fell 0.1% to USD 1,912.49 per ounce by 1:43 p.m. EDT (1743 GMT), after hitting its lowest since mid-March. US gold futures settled 0.1% lower at USD 1,922.20.
Powell reiterated that more rate rises likely lie ahead for the central bank, and did not rule out a boost in the cost of borrowing at a policy meeting scheduled for the end of July.
“Although the market is pricing in a decent chance the Fed is going to hike in July, the more relevant factor for gold is that the market has been simultaneously pricing out the number of cuts we could expect over the next year,” said Daniel Ghali, commodity strategist at TD Securities.
Markets were pricing in an 82% chance of a rate hike at the Fed’s next meeting in July, seeing little odds of any easing in monetary policy by the end of this year, according to the CME FedWatch tool.
The dollar index firmed 0.4%, making gold less attractive for overseas buyers. A drop in benchmark 10-year Treasury yields limited further downside.
“Good US economic data remains a headwind for the yellow metal, as it likely keeps Fed officials reiterating a hawkish tone,” UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo said.
Sales of new US single-family homes surged to the highest in nearly 1-1/2 years in May, while US consumer confidence also jumped in June.
“We still expect at some point the aggressive monetary policy tightening to weaken US economic data and result in a change of tone by the Fed,” Staunovo added.
High interest rates discourage traders from investing in non-yielding gold.
Silver fell 0.3% to USD 22.81 per ounce, platinum shed 1.4% at USD 912.20 after falling to an eight-month low, and palladium plunged 3.7% to USD 1,248.06, its lowest in 4-1/2 years.
(Reporting by Deep Vakil, Arundhati Sarkar, and Ashitha Shivaprasad in Bengaluru; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Krishna Chandra Eluri)