Gold prices gained ground again today as escalating tensions in the Middle East heightened demand for the safe-haven asset. Spot gold rose by 0.25 percent to $2,038.40 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures settled 0.50 percent higher at $2035.5 by 7:44 AM GMT. The geopolitical landscape spurred investors toward the safety of gold, pushing its prices up.
Federal Reserve decision
Investors are closely monitoring the Federal Reserve‘s policy decision scheduled for Wednesday, seeking insights into the timing of the first U.S. interest rate cut this year. The December meeting hinted at a dovish turn, and analysts are eager to gauge whether the Fed will continue in a dovish or hawkish direction.
Moreover, a Reuters poll highlighted that economic uncertainty and the prospect of U.S. interest rate cuts could propel gold prices to record highs in 2024. Silver also saw a surge, reaching $23.11 per ounce, its highest level since Jan. 16. Platinum rose by 1.3 percent to $925.20, while palladium gained 2.1 percent to $975.35. The ongoing geopolitical tensions and a decline in U.S. Treasury bond yields contributed to the strength in precious metals.
The escalation of conflicts in the Middle East raised concerns about a broader crisis in the region, contributing to a more cautious market sentiment and an increase in gold prices. The potential for Middle East tensions to escalate carries an added element of uncertainty and could have significant implications for global crude oil supplies. This, in turn, has the potential to trigger a shock to inflation.
US dollar’s impact on gold prices
The U.S. dollar struggled to gain meaningful traction, remaining confined in a familiar range as traders sought clarity on the Federal Reserve’s rate-cutting timeline. This lack of a decisive move in the dollar acted as a tailwind for the U.S. dollar-denominated gold price, reinforcing its safe-haven appeal.