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Metals Stocks: Gold futures edge lower, struggle to hold above $1,800

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Gold futures were inching lower Tuesday morning, and were struggling to retain their perch above $1,800 after settling above that level on Monday for the first time since mid September.

December gold
GCZ21,
-0.33%

GC00,
-0.33%

 was trading $7.80, or 0.4%, lower at $1,798.90 an ounce, following a 0.6% climb a day ago, which brought prices for the most active contract to its highest settlement since Sept. 14, according to FactSet data.

Bullion has been mostly supported by fears about persistent inflation around the world, with the precious metal viewed as a hedge against intensifying pricing pressures. However, expectations that the Federal Reserve will be forced to lift interest rates, which currently stand at a range between 0% and 0.25%, faster than earlier anticipated is likely to limit rallies for precious metals.

The Fed is slated to hold its two-day policy meeting Nov. 2-3, when it is widely expected to announce a tapering of bond purchases that were put in place during the worst of disruptions to financial markets sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic. Investors will be looking for any indication of the pace of that reduction in purchases as a signal of how rapidly the central bank might move to normalize interest rates.

“Gold prices jumped above the $1,800 level after yields on short-term treasury bonds dropped after Jerome Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve, indicated that inflation could persist longer than expected,” wrote Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade, in a research note.

 “This update fuelled expectations of a sooner than expected interest rate hike to check surging commodity prices,” he wrote.

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