Gold prices edged lower on Wednesday, as market players looked ahead to comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell for further hints about the outlook for monetary policy in the months ahead.
Comex gold futures were at $1,317.15 a troy ounce by 8:00AM ET (13:00 GMT), down $2.05, or around 0.15%.
Meanwhile, spot gold was trading at $1,313.21 per ounce, down $2.08, or 0.15%.
Powell is scheduled to deliver opening remarks and answer questions on monetary policy at a town hall meeting with teachers in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday evening.
The U.S. central bank last week signaled that its three-year drive to tighten monetary policy is close to an end due to rising headwinds to the economy.
Meanwhile, markets digested U.S. President Donald Trump‘s State of the Union address on Tuesday, in which he raised the prospect of another shutdown should his demand for border wall funding not be met.
“There is a likely risk of another government shutdown with President Trump still sticking to the rhetoric of erecting a border wall,” said Hitesh Jain, vice president, Yes Securities, adding that a firmer dollar was capping gold’s gains.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.1% at 95.92, its best level since Jan. 25.
A stronger dollar can be a negative for commodities priced in the currency, making them more expensive to users of other currencies.
In other metals trading, silver futures fell 9.4 cents, or about 0.6%, to trade at $15.74 a troy ounce.
Palladium futures dipped 0.4% to $1,336.25.
Platinum was down roughly 0.1% at $819.30./investing.com