Gold steady as markets await US interest rate hike clues
Gold was trading in a narrow range on Wednesday as investors waited for clues on whether the US Federal Reserve would hike interest rates this year.
At the end of the week, US Fed Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to address a gathering of global central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Recent hawkish comments from some policymakers have raised investors' expectations that Yellen might also take a less cautious tone.
"Markets are going to be quiet until Friday as everyone is waiting for some clues from Janet Yellen's speech," said Kent Li, deputy incharge for bullion desk, Wing Fung Precious Metals.
Spot gold was flat at $1,337.30 an ounce at 0335 GMT. US gold slipped 0.3% to $1,341.60 an ounce.
Spot gold may revisit its August 22 low of $1,331.35 within the next 24 hours, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
"Despite the improving US-centric fundamentals, we expect investors to remain long in gold given the need to insure against wildcards into the year, namely the growth risk from Brexit into 2017 and the upcoming November's US presidential elections," OCBC Bank analyst Barnabas Gan said in a note.
Data on Tuesday showed new US single-family home sales unexpectedly rose in July, reaching their highest level in nearly nine years as demand increased broadly, brightening the housing market outlook.
"We suspect that any hawkish tone emanating from Yellen's speech regarding rates would have a negative impact on gold, but this Fed has proved time and again that it is not one to surprise the markets and if anything, is far more timid than bold," INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said in a note.
Gold is highly sensitive to rising US interest rates, which boost the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding gold, while lifting the US dollar, in which the metal is priced.
Spot silver was up 0.6% at $18.89, hovering near a more than seven-week low of $18.77 touched on Monday.
Platinum rose 0.5% to $1,104.30. Palladium was flat at $696.85, after hitting a one-week low of $680.20 in the previous session.