LONDON - Gold fell after stronger than expected U.S. inflation and retail sales on Wednesday added to expectations of near-term U.S. interest rate rises, driving the dollar to a one-month high.
U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Tuesday that delaying increases could leave the Fed's policymaking committee behind the curve.
Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, as these increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.
"This has to do with the dollar getting stronger on the back of the more hawkish comments from the Fed," Oxford Economics analyst Daniel Smith said. "Yellen has highlighted a lot of risks around the Trump presidency, but nevertheless her foot is firmly poised over the accelerator."
"It makes sense if you think about the context -- generally the U.S. is doing pretty well if you look at the data that's coming through."
Yellen's comments boosted appetite for assets perceived as higher risk, like equities, as well as the dollar.
World stocks hit 21-month peaks after Yellen flagged a possible interest rate rise next month, while the dollar hit a one-month peak after the stronger-than-forecast data supported the view of a pick-up in U.S. economic growth.
"We remain cautious (on gold), given our expectation for solid growth, rising interest rates and a strengthening U.S. dollar ," Julius Baer said in a note.
The world's largest physically-backed gold fund, SPDR Gold Shares
Regulatory filings showed on Tuesday that Paulson & Co cut its stake in the fund as bullion prices posted their weakest quarterly performance in 3-1/2 years, while Soros Fund Management LLC got out of gold in the fourth quarter of 2016.
U.S. gold futures
Among other precious metals, silver
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