(Bloomberg) — Gold extended its decline as a U.S. bond rally lost steam ahead of this week’s Federal Reserve meeting, which may give clues on the future path of monetary policy.
Bullion retreated on Monday as Treasury yields ticked higher, making the non-interest bearing metal seem less attractive. Last week, gold struggled to make significant gains past $1,900 an ounce, which may have resulted in pressure from technical traders, according to Georgette Boele, senior precious metals strategist at ABN Amro Bank NV.
Fed officials could project interest-rate liftoff in 2023 amid faster economic growth and inflation, but they won’t signal scaling back bond purchases until August or September, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg. More than half predict the quarterly rate-forecast “dot plot,” released after the conclusion of the central bank’s two-day gathering on Wednesday, will show the median of 18 officials penciling in at least one 2023 increase.
The remainder see no liftoff from near-zero rates until 2024 at the earliest, mirroring the Fed’s forecast in March.
Gold dropped as the inflation debate continued after Thursday’s report on the U.S. consumer price index showed price increases were largely driven by categories associated with economic re-openings, bolstering the view that pressures may ease later in the year. Some investors are anticipating the Fed will reaffirm that its ultra-loose policy remains appropriate, and that it’s too soon to start even contemplating tapering bond purchases.
“It’s easy to be tactically neutral on gold here,” said Chris Weston, head of research at Pepperstone Group, who said he would look to turn bullish again on a close through $1,911. “When I look at the play book for this week’s Fed meeting, the skew of risk is to slightly higher real rates and a modestly stronger U.S. dollar. This should result in a weak gold price, although the Fed do have a tendency to keep financial conditions in check unless something needs to be done.”
Spot gold fell 1.1% to $1,856.23 an ounce at 9:34 a.m. in London, after dropping 1.1% on Friday. Silver, platinum and palladium all declined. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index edged higher after rising 0.5% on Friday.
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