Gold nears $2,000 as Fed rate hike pause boosts appeal

by Shura Guseva

In a notable turn of market dynamics, gold prices are steadfastly maintaining their position near the pivotal $2,000 mark. This stability is largely attributed to growing anticipation of a potential pause in the U.S. Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes, a shift that has simultaneously dampened the dollar’s strength and U.S. bond yields. On Wednesday, spot gold witnessed a marginal increase of 0.2%, reaching $2,001.89 per ounce, having earlier in the session peaked at $2006.19.

Gold nears $2,000 as Fed rate hike pause boosts appeal

The previous day, bullion attained a three-week high of $2,007.29. Concurrently, U.S. gold futures also experienced an uptick, albeit a modest 0.1%, settling at $2,003.90. Economic analysts at ANZ note a growing support for gold investments, driven by the United States’ moderating inflation rates and the consequent speculation about the cessation of the Fed’s interest rate hiking cycle. This speculation is bolstered by a decline in both U.S. yields and the dollar’s value, enhancing gold’s appeal as an investment.

The Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting minutes reveal a cautious approach, with officials agreeing to raise interest rates only if efforts to control inflation show signs of faltering. Market sentiments reflect confidence in the absence of further rate hikes, with current predictions indicating nearly a 60% probability of a rate reduction of at least 25 basis points by May, as per the CME FedWatch Tool. In this economic landscape, lower interest rates decrease the opportunity cost of holding gold, making it a more attractive asset.

The U.S. dollar, experiencing a modest rise of 0.2% against its counterparts, remains near its lowest point in over two and a half months. Meanwhile, the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yields have shown a downward trend. Giovanni Staunovo, an analyst at UBS, suggests that current price dips in gold may present lucrative buying opportunities, particularly in anticipation of the Federal Reserve eventually cutting interest rates. Staunovo forecasts a significant rise in gold prices, predicting a target of $2150 by the end of the second half of 2024.

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