By Ambar Warrick
Investing.com– Gold prices traded near their highest level in two weeks on Thursday, with metal markets rallying as the dollar retreated on growing expectations that the Federal Reserve will soften its hawkish stance this year.
rose 0.1% to $1,666.79 an ounce, briefly hitting an over two-week high of $1,675.03, while traded at $1,670.80 an ounce, just below a two-week high.
Bullion prices jumped nearly 1% on Wednesday, and are now up for a third consecutive session. The gains now put the yellow metal within sight of its next major hurdle, crossing the $1,700 mark.
The fell 0.1% on Thursday after tumbling more than 1% in the prior session, as investors bet that a slowdown in U.S. economic growth will push the Fed into softening its pace of interest rate hikes this year. Treasury yields also came under pressure.
The greenback is now trading at its weakest level in over one month, and is nearly 5% off a twenty-year high hit in September.
While markets almost unanimously expect the Fed to in November, expectations that it will enact a 50 bps hike in December are growing.
Traders are currently pricing in a nearly 60% chance for a 50 bps hike in the Fed’s last meeting this year.
The prospect of a less hawkish Fed provided great relief for gold prices, given that rising interest rates this year severely depleted appeal for the yellow metal.
Still, even if the Fed softens its hawkish stance, U.S. interest rates are expected to stay elevated until at least 2024, keeping gold prices subdued.
Among industrial metals, copper prices traded flat on Thursday after rallying over 4% in the prior session.
traded around a three-week high of $3.540 a pound. The red metal, which marked a weak start to the week on concerns over slowing demand in China, also benefited from the prospect of supply shortages in the coming months.
Copper demand is also expected to heat up as electrification gains traction in the coming years.