Gold Up, Investors Await U.S. Interest Rate Hike Clues from Inflation Data

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By Gina Lee – Gold was up on Wednesday morning in Asia. Investors shifting their focus to U.S. inflation data for interest rate hike clues after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell set a less hawkish tone and reiterated that the central bank would tackle inflation.

Gold futures inched up 0.01% to $1,818.75 by 11:39 PM ET (4:39 AM GMT). The dollar, which normally moves to gold, inched down on Wednesday.

At his Senate Banking Committee hearing for a second term as Fed chairman, Powell said the Fed could need several months to decide on the running down of its $9 trillion balance sheet, adding it would also ensure that high inflation did not become “entrenched”.

The Senate Banking Committee hearing for Fed vice-chair nominee Lael Brainard will take place on Thursday. Fed officials including Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker, and Chicago Fed President Charles Evans will also speak on the same day.

Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields fell as investors had viewed interest rate hikes as negatively impacting economic growth. The yields hit 1.808% on Monday, its highest since Jan. 21, 2020.

In Asia Pacific, Chinese data released earlier in the day showed that the consumer price index (CPI) contracted 0.3% month-on-month while growing 1.5% year-on-year, while the producer price index (PPI) grew 10.3% year-on-year, in December.

Investors now await the U.S. CPI and the Fed Beige Book later in the day. The PPI will follow on Thursday.

In other precious metals, silver inched down 0.1% and platinum fell 0.4%, while palladium was flat at $1,920.67.

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