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Gold Prices Mixed As Dollar Gains On Recession Fears

Gold steadied near an eight-month high on Friday as the dollar edged higher on concerns that an economic downturn could be unavoidable.

Spot gold slipped 0.2 percent to $1,928.24 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures were up 0.3 percent at $1,929.35.

The dollar remains vulnerable to data releases as investors look for signs the economy is weakening.

The U.S. economic calendar is relatively light today, with a report on existing home sales likely to attract some attention.

The latest housing data on Thursday provided further evidence of deceleration in the economy, but new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, adding to concerns that the Fed could overtighten policy.

Speaking at an event, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams emphasized on Thursday there is 'more work to do" to bring inflation down to the central bank's 2 percent target.

"Restoring price stability is essential to achieving maximum employment and stable prices over the longer term, and it is critical that we stay the course until the job is done," he was quoted as saying.

Markets currently expect that the Fed might end its tightening cycle after a 25-basis point hike at each of its next two policy meetings.

Traders await European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde's speech at Davos later in the day for fresh impetus. Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, will also speak.

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