Gold falls on firmer dollar, U.S. stimulus concerns

Sumita Layek
·2-min read
An employee holds gold bars before the refining process at AGR (African Gold Refinery) in Entebbe

By Sumita Layek

(Reuters) - Gold prices edged lower on Tuesday as the dollar strengthened and concerns over the passage of a U.S. stimulus package weighed on the metal's appeal, while investors awaited a Federal Reserve policy meeting for cues on the monetary policy outlook.

Spot gold fell 0.2% to $1,852.30 per ounce by 0808 GMT. U.S. gold futures eased 0.3% to $1,849.60.

"People are going into bonds and dollar, shying away from gold," said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at financial services firm Axi.

"There's a risk that the stimulus could get delayed until after (former U.S. President Donald) Trump's impeachment ... leaving gold on the mercy of the U.S. central bank's whim."

The dollar hit a near one-week high against rivals, making gold expensive for other currency holders.

U.S. President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion pandemic relief proposal has been met with objections from Republicans, who have called the proposal too expensive and pushed for a smaller plan targeting vaccine distribution.

"It seems very unlikely that all of $1.9 trillion will be passed via the Senate, they're probably going to have to give away quite a bit of it in order to get something passed," said DailyFX currency strategist Ilya Spivak.

Gold fell despite U.S. 10-year Treasury yields hitting a three-week low. Lower yields reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

The U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting is set to begin later in the day.

"If the Fed signals that they're not looking to expand stimulus, and puts the seeds out there that they might have to consider exiting sooner than they currently think ... that could be very detrimental for gold," Spivak said.

Silver fell 0.2% to $25.25 an ounce, platinum lost 1.4% to $1,083.03, and palladium fell 0.3% to $2,328.27.

(Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Rashmi Aich)