Gold inches higher ahead of Powell Speech as growth fears resurface

Gold prices buoyed by economic uncertainty prior to Fed Chair Powell's keenly awaited speeches, his final words before FOMC blackout.

Berto Tordecilla

Berto Tordecilla

This news article is older than 30 days.

Gold prices ticked higher to $2,049 on Friday morning as demand for safe-haven assets increased ahead of remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.

Investor appetite for bullion was underpinned by downbeat purchasing managers’ index figures out of Asia that sparked fresh concerns over a potential global economic slowdown.

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Recent data showed U.S. inflation pressure eased in months prior, though price growth remains well above the Fed’s 2% target. This tempered some of the enthusiasm that lifted markets this week after central bank officials signalled rates may not remain restrictive for as long as previously anticipated.

The dollar attempted to claw back some losses registered earlier in the week despite the hotter inflation print. Attention now turns to Powell, who will deliver what will be his final comments before the FOMC enters the pre-meeting blackout.

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The Fed chief has largely maintained his hawkish policy stance thus far. Still, market participants will be closely monitoring his speeches to discern if he moderates his tone or provides any insight to the potential cadence of future hikes amid heightening uncertainty over the economic outlook.

Gold has derived support from lingering growth worries even as the odds of near-term recession abate. Prices have remained rangebound, however, as additional clarity over Fed policy is needed to dictate near-term directional bias.

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