July 18, 2018 / 4:09 AM / 5 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold hits 1-year low as dollar firms on U.S. Fed rate outlook

    * Dollar at 6-month high vs yen after outlook from Fed's
Powell
    * Spot gold to hover above $1,226 an ounce - technicals
    * Silver slips to its weakest since July 2017

 (Adds comment, detail, and updates prices)
    By Karen Rodrigues
    BENGALURU, July 18 (Reuters) - Gold prices slipped to their
lowest in a year on Wednesday, as the dollar firmed after
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's U.S. economic outlook
reinforced views that the central bank is on track to steadily
hike interest rates.
    Spot gold        was down 0.2 percent at $1,224.16 an ounce,
as of 0657 GMT. Earlier in the session, the yellow metal hit its
weakest since mid-July 2017 at $1,221.74 an ounce.
    U.S. gold futures         for August delivery were 0.2
percent lower at $1,224.30 an ounce.  
    The stronger dollar following Powell's comments weighed on
gold prices, said Yuichi Ikemizu, Tokyo branch manager, ICBC
Standard Bank.
    "People are selling (instruments of) emerging markets,
commodities and buying the dollar as it seems to be the most
stable investment. As long as this trend continues ... it's a
pretty tough situation for commodities," Ikemizu said.  
    The dollar rose across the board on Wednesday, climbing to a
six-month high against the yen, after U.S. Federal Reserve
Chairman Jerome Powell gave an upbeat outlook for the economy
and reinforced views that the Fed was on track to steadily hike
interest rates.                    
    Meanwhile, another central banker on Tuesday said that with
the U.S. economy firing on all cylinders, the Fed should ease
away from monetary policy accommodation and move interest rates
up far enough to prevent unwanted inflation but not so fast that
a recession ensues.             
    Higher interest rates tend to boost the dollar and push up
bond yields, making greenback-denominated gold more expensive
for holders of other currencies and denting its appeal.
    "With the USD on a solid footing, gold prices should stay
pressured lower for the foreseeable future as gold has wholly
lost its glittering appeal in this enduringly bullish equity and
USD environment," said Stephen Innes, APAC trading head, OANDA.
    However, Reuters technicals analyst Wang Tao said spot gold
has found support at $1,226 per ounce and may hover above this
level or bounce towards resistance at $1,237.          
    Among other precious metals, silver        slipped 0.5
percent to $15.47 an ounce, after touching $15.39 per ounce, its
lowest since July last year.
    Platinum        lost 0.6 percent to $807.50 an ounce, and
hit a two-week low of $804.75 an ounce earlier in the session.
    Palladium        climbed 0.1 percent to $911.90 per ounce. 

 (Reporting by Karen Rodrigues in Bengaluru, Editing by Joseph
Radford and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
  
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