Off The Wire
Gold steadies as investors prep for Fed minutes, data burst
Nov 24 (Reuters) - Gold steadied on Wednesday as investors refrained from making big bets in the run-up to minutes from the Federal Reserve's November policy meeting and key economic data.
Spot gold was little changed at $1,788.12 per ounce by 1136 GMT while U.S. gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,789.00.
The precious metal slid below the key $1,800 mark earlier this week as the re-nomination of Fed Chair Jerome Powell firmed bets of faster monetary policy tightening and boosted the dollar . read more
A stronger dollar raises makes the greenback-priced metal expensive for holders of other currencies.
Real interest rates are still negative and COVID-19 uncertainty is supportive of gold, but some relief that Powell's re-nomination will ensure continuity has boosted financial markets and put pressure on bullion, StoneX analyst Rhona O'Connell said.
Overall, sentiment among gold investors remains cautious ahead of minutes from the Fed's latest meeting, O'Connell said.
Focus will also be on a clutch of U.S. data, including economic growth figures and the pivotal personal consumption expenditures price index, due later in the day.
"Solid GDP (gross domestic product) data can confirm the U.S. economy is strong and can put more pressure on the Fed to accelerate tapering. But investors are more interested in inflation data, which is going to be much more crucial (as gold tries to approach $1,800)," said Carlo Alberto De Casa, external analyst at Kinesis Money.
For months, Powell has insisted the current bout of inflation was likely to be transitory and said the central bank would be "patient" in deciding when to begin raising its benchmark rate from near-zero.
Higher interest rates increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.
Among other precious metals, spot platinum was up 0.9% to $977.51 per ounce, palladium rose 0.5% to $1,877.97.
Silver fell 0.5% to $23.53.