Beijing, China (BBN) – Gold prices rose slightly in early Asia on Monday with the weekend forecasts for growth released in China aiding sentiment.
Gold for April delivery edged up 0.03 per cent at $1,234.90 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, reports
Elsewhere in metals trading, silver fell 0.23 per cent to $17.957 a troy ounce, while copper futures dropped 0.22% to $2.702 a pound.
On Thursday, the European Central Bank meets and will offer fresh cues on the future direction of its stimulus program.
At the weekend, China’s Premier Li Keqiang mapped out a cautious economic course for China, setting a modest downshift in growth to let the government rein in swelling financial risks and ensure a smooth changeover in the political leadership this year with a target for the world’s second-largest economy to see GDP gain about 6.5 per cent for 2017, a small recalibration from last year’s range of 6.5 per cent to 7 per cent and not far from actual growth of 6.7 per cent in 2016, the slowest pace in a quarter-century.
Li also said Beijing aimed to keep consumer-price inflation under 3 per cent in 2017, unchanged from last year’s goal.
China’s consumer-price index rose 2.0 per cent in 2016 from a year earlier.
Last week, gold prices fell on Friday and posted the largest weekly loss of 2017 so far amid growing expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates later this month.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen said Friday that a rate hike “would likely be appropriate” this month if the economy remains on track.
The remarks cemented the view that the Fed will raise interest rates at its next meeting on March 14-15, following a series of hawkish comments by Fed policymakers earlier in the week.
Almost 80 per cent of traders expect a rate hike at the Fed’s March meeting, compared to just over 60 per cent on Wednesday, according to’s Fed rate monitor tool.
Higher interest rates are typically bearish for gold, which is denominated in dollars and struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when borrowing costs rise.