Gold eases as yields gain on Fed rate hike bets

Gold prices eased on Monday, as U.S. Treasury yields gained on hawkish signals from the Federal Reserve and markets began to price in a sooner-than-anticipated reduction in balance sheet.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was down 0.2% to $1,814.08 per ounce by 0024 GMT. U.S. gold futures edged down 0.1% at $1,815.00.

* U.S. 10-year Treasury yields hovered near two-year highs hit in the previous week. [US/]

* Fed Chair Jerome Powell said last week that the U.S. economy is ready for the start of tighter monetary policy, while other Fed officials also signalled that the Fed is getting ready to start raising interest rates in March.

* Gold is considered an inflationary hedge, but the metal is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, which increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

* Bank of Japan policymakers are debating how soon they can start telegraphing an eventual interest rate hike in a meeting this week.

* Data out of China due on Monday are expected to show retail sales and industrial output slowed further in December.

* Physical gold buying faltered in India last week, as prices climbed and rising coronavirus cases prompted consumers to postpone purchases, while demand in top consumer China stabilised as Lunar New Year festivities approached.

* Spot silver shed 0.3% to $22.89 an ounce, platinum was down 0.3% to $967.33, and palladium fell 0.4% to $1,871.50.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0200 China Urban Investment (YTD) YY Dec

0200 China Industrial Output YY Dec

0200 China Retail Sales YY Dec

0200 China GDP YY Q4

1400 Meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels

World Economic Forum holds annual meeting (to Jan 22)

Bank of Japan holds Monetary Policy Meeting (to Jan. 18)

News

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