Gold prices retreat after sharp post-Fed advance

LONDON — Gold retreated on Wednesday after rising more than one per cent in the previous session as investors cashed in some gains ahead of a second day of testimony by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and a string of US economic data.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Wed 27 Feb 2013, 10:34 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 3:36 AM

The metal posted its biggest one-day rise in three months on Tuesday after Bernanke provided reassurance on the Fed’s commitment to loose monetary policy, burnishing bullion’s appeal as a hedge against inflation.

It struggled to maintain those gains, however, as investors remained wary over gold’s longer-term prospects, given expectations for a further recovery the economic cycle, which could favour higher-risk assets.

Spot gold was down 0.4 per cent to $1,606.51 an ounce at 1044 GMT, off a 1-1/2-week high of $1,619.66 on Tuesday. The metal had touched a seven-month low of $1,554.49 on February 21. US gold futures for April delivery were down 0.6 per cent at $1,606.30.

“The drop to $1,554 we saw in the past 10 days was really too quick, and prices didn’t need too much input to regain the $1,600 mark yesterday,” Natixis analyst Bernard Dahdah said. “Today prices are slightly lower ... we see gold supported around these levels as the Fed’s second day of testimony should reiterate a QE-supportive stance.”

Bernanke strongly defended the US central bank’s stimulus measures before Congress on Tuesday, easing fears it would cease buying bonds through so-called quantitative easing sooner rather than later. He is due to testify before the House Financial Services Committee at 1500 GMT.

The three rounds of QE from the Fed have helped gold stage a record-breaking rally in the past few years as investors have worried about currency debasement due to money-printing and have sought to store value in gold.

But concerns that the central bank could exit the policy on signs of a fledgling economic recovery have weighed on the metal over the past weeks.

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