Copper hit a one-week low on
Wednesday as risk appetite ebbed, with global equities and oil
down as investors moved into the safety of the dollar ahead of
the release of the minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's most
recent policy meeting.
Gold steadied on Wednesday after
its biggest one-day slide in 2-1/2 months as investors awaited
Federal Reserve policy meeting minutes for clues on the outlook
for U.S. interest rates.
But prices were still under pressure from fresh gains in the
dollar that kept the metal near a one-week low.
Spot gold was at $1,327.81 an ounce at 1235 GMT, down
0.1 percent but off an earlier low of $1,325.20. U.S. April gold
futures were down 80 cents an ounce at $1,330.40.
"With both the dollar recovering and real yields staying as
elevated as they are, that is creating some nervousness (in
gold)," Saxo Bank's head of commodity research Ole Hansen said.
"Also, the FOMC minutes raise some concerns - the market is
more worried about an accelerated rate hiking cycle than any
slowdown. The market will be looking to the minutes for further
guidance," he said.
Gold slid 1.3 percent on Tuesday, the most on any day since
Dec. 7, as a rise in U.S. yields boosted the dollar and weakened
the appeal of non-interest bearing gold. Benchmark 10-year
Treasury yields hovered near a four-year peak on Tuesday.
Yields have risen after the U.S. Treasury Department issued
more debt in anticipation of a higher deficit from last year's
tax overhaul and a budget deal that will lift federal spending
over the next two years.
Stocks fell in Europe on Wednesday, while the dollar rose
0.2 percent against the euro as traders' near-term focus shifted
to the Fed minutes.
The minutes, due to be released at 1900 GMT, will be watched
for comment on inflation pressures in the world's biggest
economy, which could speed up the pace of rate hikes.
Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, as
these increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding
bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.
Interest in physical gold has been muted this week during
the Lunar New Year holiday across much of Asia, including major
"The return of China will be closely to watched for any
renewed physical interest in Asia to stem the weakness," MKS
said in a note, adding that the firm dollar and higher Treasury
yields were likely to keep the metal under pressure.
On the investment side of the market, holdings at the
world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold
Shares , rose 3.2 tonnes on Tuesday to 827.79 tonnes.
Among other precious metals, silver was down 0.2
percent at $16.42 an ounce, while palladium was 1.3
percent lower at $1,020 and platinum was down 0.5 percent
(Additional reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by
Mark Pottera and Edmund Blair)
Gold and silver miner Hochschild Mining
Plc, which has been scouting for early-stage mining
projects, is interested in moving into other metals including
copper and zinc, the company's chief executive said on
South Africa's parliament
will launch an investigation into allegations of
influence-peddling against mines minister Mosebenzi Zwane, its
oversight committee on mineral resources department said on
The dollar rose to its highest
level in a week against a basket of currencies on Wednesday, as
investor focus shifted to the minutes of the Federal Reserve's
last policy meeting. World stocks looked set to fall for a third