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Copper Falls as Hawkish Fed Outweighs Supply Risk; Gold Steadies

Copper Falls as Hawkish Fed Outweighs Supply Risk; Gold Steadies
Molten gold pours from a crucible into a mold during the casting of large gold ingots in the foundry at the JSC Krastsvetmet non-ferrous metals plant in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. Gold headed for the biggest weekly loss in more than two years as progress in U.S-China trade talks hammered demand for havens and sent miners’ shares tumbling. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Copper headed for the steepest decline in six weeks in New York as a hawkish Federal Reserve crimped the outlook for demand, outweighing supply risks. Gold recovered as the US dollar lost early gains.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell signaled higher-for-longer interest rates to curb inflation at the Fed’s Jackson Hole symposium on Friday, sparking broad declines across financial assets. The worsening sentiment on copper demand took precedence over further signs that supply is under threat, with Chile’s Codelco becoming the latest major producer to cut output guidance.

Copper fell as much as 3.6% to $3.563 a pound Monday in New York. The London Metal Exchange is closed due to a holiday in the UK. Meanwhile, gold pared losses after the dollar retreated, and traded little changed at $1,739.09 an ounce as of 10:54 a.m. in New York.

Spot prices drop as Fed raises interest rates

Gold is heading for a fifth monthly decline, the longest such stretch in four years, as higher interest rates dull the allure of the non-interest bearing metal. A stronger dollar has also weighed on gold priced in the US currency. The two-year Treasury yield reached the highest since 2007.

“Gold prices continue to fluctuate, mostly tracking the dollar as investors digest a wrath of hawkish central bank speak from Jackson Hole,” said Ed Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda. “Wall Street is confident that a Fed pivot won’t be happening anytime soon and that is weighing on gold prices, but a stronger euro is preventing the dollar from rallying.”

Read More: Central Bankers in Jackson Hole Embrace Tightening Mission Ahead

“Restoring price stability will likely require maintaining a restrictive policy stance for some time,” Powell said Friday in remarks at the Kansas City Fed’s annual policy forum in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. “The historical record cautions strongly against prematurely loosening policy.”

He reiterated that another “unusually large” increase in the benchmark lending rate could be appropriate when officials gather next month, though he stopped short of committing to one, saying that a decision will depend on “the totality of the incoming data and the evolving outlook.”

Meanwhile, Senator Elizabeth Warren took aim at the Fed’s inflation-fighting game plan on Sunday, saying she was worried the central bank will tip the US economy into a recession, adding that she doesn’t believe increasing interest rates can contain current price pressures.


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