Gold Up, but Moves Small as Investors Await Fed Meeting Minutes

Gold was up on Wednesday morning in Asia ahead of the minutes from the latest U.S. Federal Reserve meeting.

Investors also weighed the possibility of an earlier-than-expected interest rate hike against surging numbers of COVID-19 cases globally.

Gold futures inched up 0.03% to $1,815.15 by 11:11 PM ET (4:11 AM GMT). The dollar, which normally moves inversely to gold, inched down on Wednesday.

The Fed will release the minutes from its December meeting later in the day.

With Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari saying he supports two hikes in 2022 to curb high inflation, now await comments from St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly speaking at separate events on Thursday and Friday respectively for more clues

Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields climbed to their highest in more than a month on Tuesday over the Fed rate hike expectations. Futures on the federal funds rate on Tuesday priced in a roughly 66% chance of a quarter-percentage-point tightening by March 2022, and investors fully pricing that scenario by May.

On the COVID-19 front, the omicron variant continues to fuel a surge in cases, with the U.S. reporting a global record of almost 1 million new cases on Monday according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, data released on Tuesday in the U.S. showed that the Institute of Supply Management manufacturing purchasing managers index was a lower-than-expected 58.7 in December, while the JOLTs job openings survey showed 10.562 million vacancies in November.

In Asia Pacific, China releases its Caixin services purchasing managers index on Thursday.

In other precious metals, silver inched down 0.1%, while palladium inched up 0.1% and platinum remained unchanged at $971.21.

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