June 21 (Reuters) – Gold traded in a narrow range on Wednesday as traders refrained from making big bets ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s congressional testimony, which could offer further insight into the central bank’s interest-rate hike plan.
* Spot gold was almost unchanged at USD 1,936.99 per ounce by 0028 GMT. US gold futures too were little changed at USD 1,948.20.
* Powell’s congressional testimonies due on Wednesday and Thursday will be scanned for US interest rate outlook.
* Two Federal Reserve policymakers and an economist nominated to join them on the Fed’s Washington-based board on Tuesday said their focus is on bringing down too-high inflation so that the US economy can get back to sustainable growth.
* The Senate Banking committee also released prepared remarks from Fed Board nominee Adriana Kugler, who said returning inflation to the central bank’s 2% target is key to setting a strong foundation for the US economy.
* Gold is considered a hedge against inflation, but interest-rate hikes raise the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.
* Traders are now pricing in an about 78% chance of a Fed rate hike in July, according to the CME Fedwatch tool.
* US Treasury yields fell on Tuesday, in line with declines in Europe and the UK, as investors priced in market expectations that the Fed is near the end of its rate-hiking cycle, with some sectors of the economy having shown signs of moderation.
* Meanwhile, pressure is mounting on China’s cash-strapped local governments as authorities move to shut a private funding route for their financing arms, according to planned new rules and people familiar with their aims, raising credit risks and default worries.
* Spot silver ticked down 0.1% to USD 23.1517 per ounce, platinum fell 0.3% to USD 959.76, while palladium rose 0.4% to USD 1,385.18.
0100 Australia Composite Leading Index May
0600 UK Core CPI, CPI Y/Y May
1400 US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell delivers semiannual monetary policy testimony to the US House Financial Affairs Committee
(Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
This article originally appeared on reuters.com