Gold Flat at $1,750 Amid Fed Jitters, China Stimulus Does Little for Copper

Investing.com– Gold prices moved little on Thursday, but held on to recent gains as traders awaited more cues on U.S. monetary policy, while copper prices appeared unimpressed by China’s latest stimulus package. 

Spot gold was little changed around $1,752 an ounce, while gold futures rose 0.2% to $1,765.0 an ounce by 20:31 ET (00:31 GMT). 

Prices of the yellow metal rose marginally in the past two days as the dollar index retreated from a near two-decade high. But traders are hesitant to buy further into the yellow metal ahead of Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s address to the Jackson Hole Symposium on Friday.

The dollar traded flat on Thursday. 

Investors broadly expect the Chair to reiterate the bank’s hawkish stance, raising little possibility that the Fed will reduce its rate of interest rate hikes. 

About 61% of market participants expect the Fed to hike rates by 75 basis points in September, as it moves to topple inflation from a 40-year peak. 

Hawkish comments from several Fed officials have also reinforced expectations that the Fed will stick to its path of policy tightening. The central bank has raised rates four times so far this year.

This has severely dented gold prices, negating all gains made during the onset of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Higher yields made the dollar a more attractive bet than gold.

Other precious metal prices were also largely muted on Thursday.

Among industrial metals, copper prices crept higher, but appeared to be taking little support from a fresh round of Chinese stimulus. 

Copper futures rose 0.1% to $3.6433 a pound.

China on Wednesday announced a stimulus package worth roughly 1% of its overall GDP, as it faces a drastic slowdown in growth from COVID-19 lockdowns, an ongoing heatwave and a potential power crunch. 

Weakness in the country’s industrial sector has severely dented copper prices this year, given that China is the world’s largest importer of the red metal. A worsening real estate crisis in the country is also expected to dent its economic prospects. 

Still, copper saw some support this week after the People’s Bank of China cut interest rates again to support economic growth.