Gold Futures Settle Lower As Markets Await Powell's Testimony

Gold futures ended lower on Tuesday, recording losses for the third time in the last four sessions, with traders looking ahead to the Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's congressional testimony.

Powell will testify before the U.S. House of Representatives Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis. He is due to discuss the Fed's response to the pandemic but could also face questions about the outlook for monetary policy.

In his prepared remarks, Powell said that the current surge in inflation is likely to be transitory and it could move back to the Fed's 2% target when supply imbalances are resolved.

The Fed chief gave a positive assessment of the labor market, saying that employment should pick up in coming months as vaccinations progress and the economy emerges from the pandemic.

"We at the Fed will do everything we can to support the economy for as long as it takes to complete the recovery," Powell noted.

The dollar, which stayed higher till a little past noon, faltered and posted losses against some of its peers.

The dollar index was last seen hovering around 91.75 (down 0.16% from the previous close) after having moved up to 92.14 in the Asian session.

Gold futures for August ended down by $5.50 or about 0.3% at $1,777.40 an ounce. Gold futures had gained about 0.8% on Monday after posting losses last Thursday and Friday.

Silver futures for July ended down by $0.168 or 0.7% at $25.857 an ounce, while Copper futures for July closed higher by $0.460 or 1.1% at $4.2300 per pound.

A report from the National Association of Realtors showed existing home sales in the U.S. saw further downside in the month of May.

NAR said existing home sales slid by 0.9% to an annual rate of 5.80 million in May after tumbling by 2.7% to a rate of 5.85 million in April. Economists had expected existing home sales to slump by 2.2% to a rate of 5.72 million.

Existing home sales have plummeted by 12.9% since January but are still up by 44.6% compared to May of 2020.

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