Prices of gold go down, anticipating clues on pace of US rate hikes

Prices of Gold

The prices of gold lessened on Tuesday amid a firmer dollar as investors anticipate clues on the timing of U.S. interest rate hikes in a host of speeches by Federal Reserve officials.

Spot gold went down 0.2 percent to $1,234.08 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures also slipped 0.2 percent to $1,236.2 per ounce.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against other major currencies, went up 0.1 percent to 101.09.

Market activity is expected to be mostly restrained until guidance on the pace of interest rate hikes from a raft of Federal Reserve Speakers.

The heads of the five regional U.S. Federal Reserve banks are set to speak this week. In addition, Fed Board Governor Jerome Powell appears on Wednesday, when minutes of the last policy meeting are also due.

Loretta Mester, Cleveland’s Federal Reserve President, said on Monday that she would be comfortable raising interest rates at this point if the economy kept performing the way it did.

New York’s SPDR Gold Trust GLD, the largest gold-backed exchange traded fund (ETF), dropped 0.28 percent on Friday from Thursday, while New York’s iShares Silver Trust SLV, the largest silver-backed ETF, was left unchanged during the same period.

Due to the Presidents Day holiday, markets in the United States were closed on Monday.

After a pause in purchases in December, the Central Bank of Russia posted a 2 percent increase in its gold reserves last month.

Asian stocks held near 1-1/2 year highs in subdued early trade on Tuesday as a holiday in the United States left investors with only a few catalysts, while the euro tried to regain losses as continued worries about the upcoming French election rattled its bonds.

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