By Gina Lee
Investing.com – Gold was up on Wednesday morning in Asia, remaining close to the key psychological $1,800 mark as investors await the U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest policy decision.
Gold futures were up 0.36% to $1,806.35 by 12:01 AM ET (4:01 AM GMT). The dollar inched up on Wednesday but remained below the three-and-a-half-month high reached during the previous week.
The Fed will hand down its decision later in the day, and Chairman Jerome Powell will speak at a press conference afterward. The decision and Powell’s comments will both be scrutinized for clues on the central bank’s timeline for asset tapering and interest rate hikes.
On the data front, data released on Tuesday said the U.S. Conference Board (CB) consumer confidence index for July was 129.1, its highest level in 17 months. The reading indicated that households’ spending plans are rising even amid inflationary pressures, indicating that the U.S. economy maintained its strong growth as the third quarter gets underway.
The figure was also higher than that of 123.9 in forecasts prepared by Investing.com and also beat the previous month’s 128.9 reading.
Investors now await U.S. second-quarter GDP data, due to be released on Thursday.
On the same day, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) maintained its 6% global growth forecast for 2021. While upgrading its outlook for the U.S. and other economies, IMF cut its predictions for other countries dealing with surging numbers of COVID-19 cases involving the Delta variant.
In Asia Pacific, Australia’s second-quarter consumer price index (CPI) grew a better-than-expected 0.8% quarter-on-quarter and 3.8% year-on-year. The country’s trimmed mean CPI grew 0.5% quarter-on-quarter and 1.6% year-on-year.
In other precious metals, silver was flat at $24.67 per ounce after hitting its lowest level in nearly four months at $24.46 on Tuesday. Palladium inched down 0.1% while platinum was up 0.22%.
Gold Up, Holds Near $1,800 Mark Ahead of Latest Fed Policy Decision
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