Gold prices on Wednesday consolidated in a tight range near the key $1,800 level as softer U.S. inflation data fed uncertainty about the Federal Reserve’s tapering timeline.
Spot gold was down 0.2% at $1,800.38 per ounce, but slightly off a one-week peak of $1,808.50 hit on Tuesday, in part because the dollar recovered some ground following a slide driven by the inflation data.
U.S. gold futures eased 0.3% to $1,801.80.
A stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for other currency holders.
“Gold received a small boost from the lower-than-expected CPI yesterday, but even though we got the bond yields retracing from their recent highs it has not been enough to attract the renewed demand for gold,” Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen said.
“However, risk to the downside for gold is also limited since the slowdown in inflation thereby reduces the pace with which tapering can be carried out, when it is eventually rolled out towards the end of this year,” he said.
Underlying U.S. consumer prices increased at their slowest pace in six months in August, lending credence to the Fed’s view that high levels of inflation were transitory.
Though gold is considered a hedge against inflation, expectations that the Fed may go slow on unwinding stimulus measures and keep interest rates low helps gold’s appeal as the opportunity cost of holding it remains low.
Focus now shifts to the Fed’s two-day monetary policy meeting next week for more cues on tapering.
Silver eased 0.3% to $23.77 per ounce.
“They’re seeing dips in silver as a buying opportunity. Even if there is not yet any clear bullish trend on silver, the bearish pressure seems to be losing strength,” said Carlo Alberto De Casa, a market analyst at Kinesis.
Platinum hit an over nine-month low of $925.50 and was last down 0.7% at $932.18. Palladium was steady at $1,977.74.