Gold Prices Edge Down as U.S. Dollar Steadies Ahead of Fed Officials Remarks (REALCOMMODITY.COM: 8077694749, 9720148005)

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Gold prices edged down on Monday in Asia, weighed down by a rising U.S. dollar as traders awaited comments from a number of Federal Reserve officials this week, which may reinforce expectations for a pause in its rate hike cycle.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester and St Louis Fed President James Bullard are due to speak later this week.

In its January meeting, the U.S. central bank halted its plans for further rate hikes, adding that it would be “patient” on raising rates amid muted inflation and rising risks to global economic growth.

Gold tends to appreciate on expectations of lower interest rates, which reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

Gold futures last traded at $1,317.45 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange by 12:16 AM ET (05:16 GMT), down 0.4%.

The safe-haven metal slid on Friday after hitting a nine-month peak in the previous session, but still posted a second straight weekly gain and gained 1.4%.

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies gained 0.2% to 95.430.

The price of gold tends to fall when the value of the dollar increases, as the precious metal becomes more expensive in other currencies.

Trading volume in the Asian markets will be thin this week, with China’s financial markets closed the whole week for the Lunar New Year Holiday.

South Korea’s KOSPI is also closed today for a holiday.

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