Gold hovers below $1,800 as markets await fresh cenbank cues

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Gold prices held below the key psychological level of $1,800 on Wednesday, as a buoyant dollar made bullion more expensive for holders of other currency, while investors await clues from major central banks on their stimulus tapering measures.

Spot gold was flat at $1,795.22 per ounce by 0703 GMT, hovering close to an over one-week low of $1,791.90 touched on Tuesday. U.S. gold futures fell 0.1% to $1,796.90.

The dollar index rose to a one-week peak against major peers, buoyed by higher Treasury yields and a weaker euro ahead of a European Central Bank policy decision.

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“In the shorter term, gold remains data-dependent and what that U.S. data says about the tapering timeline,” IG Market analyst Kyle Rodda said.

“So if the can keeps getting kicked down the road that gives gold an opportunity to rise again and retest that $1,830 level … But there doesn’t seem to be high level of conviction to push the prices higher from here.”

Rising COVID-19 cases weighed on U.S. job growth recovery last month, triggering speculations that the Federal Reserve could delay tapering.

The Federal Open Market Committee is due to meet later this month.

Investors were also cautious ahead of the ECB meeting on Thursday, anticipating a potential trim to the central bank’s stimulus.

“There may be some influence from the ECB meeting if the meeting is more dovish than expected,” Nicholas Frappell, global general manager at ABC Bullion said.

“In the very short term, I expect gold to recover to $1,807, possibly $1,815.”

Gold is often considered a hedge against inflation and currency debasement, caused by massive stimulus measures while low interest rates also reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

Silver fell 0.1% to $24.27 per ounce, platinum rose 0.2% to $1,000.56 and palladium eased 0.3% to $2,366.52. (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Uttaresh.V, Devika Syamnath and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)