July 25, 2017
PRECIOUS-Gold holds steady; Fed meeting in focus
(Reuters) - Gold prices held steady on Tuesday, after hitting a one-month high in the previous session, buoyed by political uncertainty in the United States, as investors awaited the Federal Reserve meeting for clues on monetary policy.
Investors also braced for possible hints on when the next interest rate hike is coming, ahead of the Fed's rate-setting two-day committee meet starting on Tuesday.
"While no rate hike is expected, the market is likely to remain subdued leading into the meeting," analysts at ANZ Research said in a note.
Spot gold was nearly unchanged at $1,255.32 per ounce, as of 0403 GMT. In the previous session, it touched $1,258.79 an ounce, its highest since June 23.
U.S. gold futures for August delivery rose about 0.1 percent to $1,255.30 per ounce.
"We remain cautiously constructive on gold as we see no end to dollar weakness for the moment given the ongoing political dramas in Washington and the approaching deadline to extend the debt ceiling," said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir.
The dollar was assisted by stronger-than-expected readings on the U.S. economy, but the outlook for the greenback remained clouded by worries that persistent political disorder would present obstacles to U.S. President Donald Trump's stimulus and tax reform agenda.
"There seems to be very little progress being made on a number of 'pro-growth' Trump initiatives, all being net bullish for gold," Meir added.
The Republican Party's repeated failures to overhaul the healthcare system, multiple congressional and federal investigations into Trump's campaign ties with Russia have cast a shadow over his first six months in office.
Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, on Monday told Senate investigators he had no part in any Kremlin attempt to meddle in the U.S. election despite having met Russians four times last year.
"Gold will remain supported in the short term by a weaker dollar and safe-haven buying," said OCBC analyst Barnbas Gan.
Gold is often seen as an alternative investment during times of political and financial uncertainty.
"Spot gold may test a support at $1,250 per ounce, a break below which could open the way towards the next support at $1,239," according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
Silver prices climbed as much as 0.2 percent to $16.48 per ounce, after hitting their highest since July 3 at $16.59 on Monday.
Platinum gained up to 0.8 percent to $933.10 per ounce. In the previous session, it hit an over five-week high at $940.40 an ounce. Palladium advanced as much as 0.8 percent to $855.00 per ounce.