May 3, 2017
PRECIOUS-Gold trades near three-week low on higher risk appetite as U.S. Fed meets
(Reuters) - Gold prices on Wednesday were near a three-week low hit in the previous session as investors sought higher returns from riskier assets and the dollar firmed as markets waited for cues that the United States may raise interest rates.
Spot gold was down 80 cents at $1,256 per ounce, as of 0327 GMT. Bullion on Tuesday hit $1,251.37 per ounce, its lowest since April 10.
U.S. gold futures were little changed at $1,257.30 an ounce.
Asian stocks followed global indexes higher on Wednesday, as strong earnings and manufacturing data boosted risk appetite.
"Risk being put back on the table is weighing on gold," MKS PAMP Group trader Jason Cerisola said.
The U.S. Federal Reserve concludes its two-day meeting later on Wednesday and is largely expected to hold interest rates steady. The focus will instead be on language about future increase.
Higher rates would reduce demand for non-interest bearing gold and would also make the dollar-denominated metal more expensive for buyers paying with other currencies.
"The Fed meeting is the next likely catalyst for gold. There is a good chance that gold will stay range-bound around $1,245-$1,265 for some time unless the markets take a major lead out of the meeting," said Jordan Eliseo, Chief Economist with ABC Bullion, Australia.
"Global tensions regarding North Korea has dissipated a bit and that's why we have seen a pull back in prices, which has been a healthy one as the markets looked a bit over extended," Eliseo said.
Spot gold may retest a support at $1,249 per ounce, with a good chance of breaking below this level and falling to the next support at $1,228, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
Expectations that the Fed will signal a June rate increase later in the session lifted the dollar.
The dollar was steady at 111.97 yen early on Wednesday, after touching a six-week high in the previous session.
"If the Fed mirrors the stance of what other central banks have been doing over the past week and tacks to a more accommodative stance, we could see gold experience something of a bounce," INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said.
Silver edged up 0.4 percent to $16.87 per ounce, after hitting a three-month low at $16.75 in the previous session.
Platinum was mostly unchanged at $922.50 per ounce. It hit a near four-month low of $919 in the previous session.
Palladium rose 0.4 percent to $818.50 per ounce.