A one kilogram gold bar sits on top of silver bars at London bullion dealers Gold Investments in London, United Kingdom, on April 4, 2013.
Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Gold prices fell on Tuesday as the dollar benefited from subdued risk sentiment, with bullion likely to see choppy trade in the run up to Friday’s U.S. jobs numbers that could dictate the Federal Reserve’s tapering plans.
The dollar index rose, making gold more expensive for buyers holding other currencies, while equity markets slid on concerns that soaring energy prices could dampen economic growth.
Subdued shares are prompting Asian investors to buy the dollar, pressuring gold, said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst for Asia-Pacific at OANDA, adding the metal would be in a $1,750-$1,785.00 range ahead of the U.S. jobs report.
Apart from inflation, fragile U.S.-China trade ties, China Evergrande’s debt crisis and a stalemate over the U.S. debt ceiling prompted some safe-haven inflows into gold as well, providing a floor to bullion prices.
“Gold could find support on dips to $1,750.00 this week, as inflation and U.S. fiscal fears increase,” Halley said.
While the uncertainties will support gold to an extent, the U.S. monetary policy direction will be the winner in the end, Halley added.
Nonfarm payrolls are expected to show continued improvement in the labour market, likely allowing the Fed to begin tapering stimulus before year-end.
Reduced stimulus and higher interest rates lift bond yields, pressuring gold as it translates into increased opportunity cost of holding non-interest-bearing bullion.
“What’s moving (gold) markets at this point is how much and over what time frame (the rates will be hiked),” DailyFX currency strategist Ilya Spivak said.
Some analysts said the impact on gold may be limited since tapering has been priced in.