August 24, 2017
PRECIOUS-Gold eases ahead of Jackson Hole central bankers meet
(Reuters) - Gold nudged lower on Thursday, giving up some of its gains made after U.S. President Donald Trump's threat of a government shutdown, with investors remaining focused on a major central bankers conference in Jackson Hole.
Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,287.87 an ounce, as of 0410 GMT, after gaining 0.4 percent in the previous session.
U.S. gold futures for December delivery slipped 0.1 percent to $1,293.30 per ounce.
"It's a bit lower with lack of catalysts and people trading sideways. It's going to be trading in a very tight range," said Richard Xu, a fund manager at China's biggest gold exchange-traded fund, HuaAn Gold.
"The market is pricing in the Federal Reserve's actions at the Jackson Hole meeting and people are expecting some kind of tightening going on in that space. So that's why gold is going to be under some kind of pressure."
Markets were focused on an annual meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming starting Thursday, where Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi are set to deliver speeches on Friday, on the outlook for monetary policy and interest rates.
ECB's Draghi on Wednesday warned against hasty policy responses and said gaps in understanding the workings of new policies remain.
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.
The dollar inched higher on Thursday, paring some of the losses it suffered after U.S. President Donald Trump suggested a shutdown of the government was possible and threatened to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement.
"Gold has already traded higher compared to a month ago so it's already priced in some of the uncertainty with regards to geopolitical concerns and even U.S. fiscal policy, so we think there's not much upside unless something unexpected happens," Xu said.
Spot gold may test a resistance at $1,294 per ounce, a break above which could lead to a gain to the next resistance at $1,297, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said.
Among other precious metals, silver was nearly unchanged at $17.02 an ounce, while platinum edged 0.3 percent lower to $973.00 an ounce.
Palladium remained unchanged at $932.90.