Gold range-bound ahead of US Fed policy statement

Gold held to a narrow range on Wednesday, with investors in a wait-and-see mode ahead of the outcome of a two-day U.S. Federal Reserve meeting that began on Tuesday.

Spot gold rose 0.1 percent to $1,312.54 an ounce by 0308 GMT.

U.S. gold futures for December delivery were up 0.4 percent at $1,316 an ounce.

“Trump’s comments overnight in regards to North Korea have certainly added a bid to the precious complex but all in all very quiet ahead of the (Fed statement),” a Sydney-based trader said, adding that the dollar was providing some support.

U.S. President Donald Trump escalated his standoff with North Korea over its nuclear challenge on Tuesday, threatening to “totally destroy” the country and mocking its leader, Kim Jong Un, as a “rocket man”.

Geopolitical risks tend to boost demand for safe haven assets such as gold and the Japanese yen.

The dollar edged slightly lower against a basket of currencies and against the yen on Wednesday. Asian stocks were steady as movements were limited ahead of the Fed’s monetary policy stance later in the day.

The U.S. Fed is expected to announce its balance sheet reduction plans later on Wednesday and provide an outlook for interest rate hikes for the rest of the year.

A stronger dollar makes the greenback-dominated bullion more expensive for those holding other currencies. Higher interest rates lead to higher bond yields and dampen demand for non-interest bearing gold.

“The majority of the consensus is there will be one more hike this year, and if that remains the case, gold should still remain reasonably well supported with what’s happening geopolitically,” the trader said.

“I think $1,300, $1,290 is certainly a good base for gold unless the Fed changes its wording with regards to how many hikes there will be in the coming months,” the trader said.

Spot gold still targets $1,299 per ounce, said Reuters technicals analyst Wang Tao.

Among other precious metals, silver edged 0.2 percent lower to $17.29 an ounce. Platinum rose 0.5 percent to $953.10 an ounce, after hitting its lowest since early August in the previous session.

Palladium gained 0.6 pct to $913.80 an ounce, after dropping to its lowest since mid-August on Tuesday.

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