Gold firms on dollar retreat; Powell testimony awaited

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Gold prices edged higher on Tuesday, as a pullback in the lifted demand for the safe-haven metal, ahead of US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell‘s testimony to Congress later in the day.

FUNDAMENTALS
Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,784.83 per ounce, as of 0054 GMT.

US gold futures gained 0.1% at $1,783.90 per ounce.

The dollar index retreated from two-month highs against its rivals, making gold less expensive for holders of other currencies.

The benchmark 10-year yield held below 1.50%, reducing the opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing gold.

The US economy continues to show “sustained improvement” from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing job market gains, but inflation has “increased notably in recent months,” Powell said in prepared testimony for a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Some investors view gold as a hedge against higher inflation that could follow stimulus measures.

The debate over when and how the Fed could begin to reduce some of its massive stimulus for the economy was on full display on Monday, as two US central bank officials explained their support for an earlier withdrawal and a third said any change was still quite a ways away.

SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.3% to 1,049.56 tonnes on Monday.

Speculators reduced their net long positions in COMEX gold in the week ended June 15 and raised their net long positions in silver, data from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed.

Silver eased 0.2% to $25.88 per ounce, palladium edged 0.1% lower to $2,581.99. Platinum climbed 0.3% to $1,056.39.

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