Gold gains as Fed Chair Powell defends loose monetary policy

Gold prices inched higher on Wednesday as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank would keep monetary policy accommodative as the U.S. economy still needed support.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,809.17 per ounce by 0111 GMT, having hit its highest since Feb. 16 at $1,815.63 on Tuesday. U.S. gold futures gained 0.1% to $1,807.30.

* Powell in his testimony before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee pushed back on suggestions that loose monetary policy risked unleashing inflation and financial risks in what may be an emerging economic boom.

* The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield fell on Tuesday after Powell’s comments. Easy monetary policy tends to weigh on government bond yields, increasing the appeal of non-yielding gold.[US/]

* The dollar eased against rivals, making gold cheaper for holders of other currencies.[USD/]

* Short-dated U.S. Treasury debt yields risk turning negative as the U.S. government curbs sales of Treasury bills, but analysts are looking at the progress of the stimulus bill to assess whether any dip in yields could be a temporary issue.

* More expensive services and industrial goods led a rebound in euro zone inflation in January after months of falling prices, data showed on Tuesday.

* COVID-19 vaccine makers told Congress on Tuesday that U.S. supplies should surge in the coming weeks due to manufacturing expansions and new vaccine authorizations.

* SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.4% to 1,110.44 tonnes on Tuesday from 1,115.4 tonnes on Monday.

* Silver rose 0.4% to $27.73 an ounce. Platinum climbed 1.4% to $1,253.76, while palladium added 0.4% to $2,360.69.

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