Gold treads water ahead of more Fed cues, copper up from 5-month low

  • Commodities News
Gold treads water ahead of more Fed cues, copper up from 5-month low
Credit: © Reuters. -- Gold prices moved little in Asian trade on Thursday, reeling from steep losses this week as markets awaited more cues on the U.S. economy and monetary policy, while copper prices bounced back from a five-month low on some improving sentiment.

The yellow metal tumbled below the $2,000 an ounce level for the first time in two weeks as hawkish signals from the Federal Reserve and easing fears of a U.S. debt default saw traders pivot out of the safe haven.

Focus now remains on more upcoming addresses by Fed officials over the next two days, most importantly Chair Jerome Powell on Friday. A slew of officials signaled that U.S. inflation still remained too high, which could attract more policy tightening measures by the central bank - pointing to more pressure on gold.

Spot gold was flat at $1.982.18 an ounce, while gold futures steadied at $1,985.15 an ounce by 20:17 ET (00:17 GMT). Both instruments were trading down 1.4% and 1.8%, respectively, for the week.

The yellow metal saw a measure of profit taking this week after racing to a record high earlier this month.

Meanwhile, copper prices steadied on Thursday after bouncing back sharply from a five-month low in the prior session. The red metal was hit with a renewed wave of selling on weaker-than-expected economic data from China, as well as increased fears of a U.S. recession this year.

Copper futures were flat at $3.7485 a pound after rallying over 2% on Wednesday.

Market sentiment improved after the Biden administration offered positive cues on raising the U.S. debt ceiling, stating that a deal with Republican lawmakers could be reached by this week.

Concerns over a potential U.S. debt default were a key source of anxiety for markets as U.S. lawmakers sparred over reaching an agreement, and had driven flows into gold earlier this month. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned of a June 1 deadline for raising the U.S. debt ceiling.

The dollar advanced to an over six-week high this week, pressuring metal prices this week as Fed officials offered a hawkish outlook on interest rates.

Other precious metals were steady on Thursday, with platinum and silver futures trading in a flat-to-slightly-higher range.

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