Gold gets Fed boost after Powell flags rate cut amid global risk

SINGAPORE – Gold rose for a third day after the Federal Reserve indicated that it’s preparing to cut interest rates for the first time in a decade as the global economy slows.

Bullion’s trading above $1 400/oz again as investors took note of the Fed’s dovishness, damping doubts over monetary policy easing that arose following stronger-than-expected US payrolls data. Speaking to Congress on Wednesday, chairman Jerome Powell said June’s jobs report was “great news", but not enough to tilt the balance because wages weren’t rising fast enough to trigger much inflation.

Exchange-traded funds backed by the precious metal also received a boost, with holdings rising to 2 311.3 t as of Wednesday, the highest level since 2013.

Gold is trading near a six-year high on the prospects of lower rates, which boost the appeal of non-interest-bearing assets, with geopolitical and trade tensions also spurring demand. Despite a truce between the US and China, Powell stressed downside risks stemming from uncertainties over trade and slowing momentum in some economies. Minutes from the Fed’s June meeting confirmed an inclination among officials to ease policy soon.

“Although there will be a few bumps on the way given the level of skepticism in the first gold rally cycle, we think there will be an even greater rush for gold in the coming weeks and months,” Stephen Innes, managing partner at Vanguard Markets, said in a note. “So gold prices could stay on an upward path as central banks pivot to an easing stance, the US dollar turns gradually weaker with a more dovish Fed and the burden of harmful yielding debt rises.”

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