After snapping a four-week streak of declines, gold futures fell on Monday as investors awaited testimony by Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chair.
May copper HGK23, 0.1% added to $4.0715 per pound
Gold is holding around the $1,850 level at the start of the week as investors wait for 'more clarity on the likely trajectory of the Federal Reserve's interest rate moves, as well as how well [U.S.] employment is holding up against the current cost pressures,' said Rupert Rowling, market analyst at Kinesis Money, in market commentary.
Friday will see the release of monthly data on U.S. Nonfarm Payrolls. On Tuesday, Powell will be testifying before the Senate Banking Committee, and Wednesday before the House Financial Services panel. Both hearings will begin at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.
Powell is expected to sound a tone similar to other Fed officials, emphasizing the need to continue raising interest rates as the central bank works to bring down inflation.
Rowling stated that Powell's speeches will have a significant impact on the price of gold because of how tightly gold is tied to Fed moves.
Recent comments by Fed officials have 'reiterated the need to continue hiking rates until they reach at least 5%, with the battle against persistently high inflation far from over,' he said.
San Francisco Federal Reserve President Mary Daly said on Saturday that bumpy progress on lowering inflation means that interest rates will likely need to be raised further and stay higher for longer.
Rowling stated that gold is less appealing to investors in these rising interest rates. Therefore, holders of the precious metal will hope Powell does not strike a more hawkish tone as his co-chairmen.
Last week, gold bounced back 'with force, rising more than 2%,' noted Marios Hadjikyriacos, lead investment analyst at XM. 'In classic fashion, the precious metal took advantage of the pullback in real yields and the U.S. dollar, although it will be tough for this advance to continue for long in a regime where the Fed is expected to stay restrictive for longer.'
Treasury yields continued to pull back Monday after the 10-year rate last week briefly topped the 4% level. Rising yields raise the opportunity cost of holding gold, while a stronger dollar makes commodities priced in the unit more expensive to users of other currencies.