Gold was down on Thursday morning in Asia as investors continued to digest the U.S. Federal Reserve’s minutes from its latest policy meeting. A strengthening dollar and lower U.S. Treasury yield also limited gains for the yellow metal. Gold futures were down 0.30% to $1,796.65 by 12:35 AM ET (4:35 AM GMT). The dollar, which usually moves inversely to gold, edged up to its highest level in three months on Thursday.
Benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yields dropped to their lowest since Feb. 19 after reporting gains during the previous session. The minutes from the Fed’s June meeting indicated the central bank is taking steps towards tapering its asset purchases as soon as 2021. Although Fed officials felt substantial further progress on the U.S. economic recovery “was generally seen as not having yet been met,” they agreed preparation was needed should asset tapering be required sooner than expected.
A new surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the more virulent Delta variant could cause consumers to “pull back” and slow the U.S. recovery, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic warned. The number of COVID-19 deaths also surpassed the four million mark as of Jul. 8, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The European Central Bank on its part will reportedly raise its inflation goal to 2% and allow room for any required overshoot in the outcome of an 18-month strategy review, due later in the day.
SPDR Gold Trust (P:GLD) said its holdings fell 0.2% to 1,040.48 tons on Wednesday from 1,042.23 tons on Tuesday. In Australia, the Perth Mint said in a blog post that gold sales dropped to an eight-month low in June but were higher year-on-year, while silver sales were at their highest level in more than a year.
In other precious metals, silver eased 0.2%, while palladium inched down 0.1% and platinum slipped 0.4%.