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Gold holds steady as investors look to Powell's speech

By Brijesh Patel

(Reuters) – Gold held steady on Tuesday as a softer dollar offset pressure from an equity rally while investors stayed away from taking big positions ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech later this week.

Spot gold was flat at $1,932.15 per ounce by 0512 GMT. U.S. gold futures were steady at $1,938.80.

Powell will discuss the Fed’s monetary policy framework review on the opening day of the Kansas City Fed’s annual central banking conference on Thursday, in a virtual and public format because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“There is lot of focus on Jackson Hole symposium and Powell’s speech… markets are reluctant to commit to a direction until that happens,” said DailyFx currency strategist Ilya Spivak, adding that gold was closely tracking the dollar.

“We have seen a pullback in gold since the beginning of the month around the sense that may be the Fed is not going to do much in terms of expanding its policy tool kit.”

The central bank has rolled out a wave of fiscal and monetary stimulus measures and cut interest rates to near zero to combat the economic toll caused by the pandemic, helping gold climb nearly 28% this year.

Lower interest rates decrease the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion and weigh on the dollar, making gold cheaper for investors holding other currencies

The dollar index fell 0.1% against its rivals on Tuesday.

Limiting gold’s appeal, Asian stock markets rose as investors cheered signs of progress in U.S.-China trade negotiations and following a Wall Street rally.

On the technical side, spot gold may test a support at $1,911 per ounce, as suggested by its wave pattern and a projection analysis, said Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Elsewhere, silver was flat at $26.53 per ounce, platinum rose 1% to $924.80, and palladium climbed 0.8% to $2,177.18.

(Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Subhranshu Sahu)

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