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Gold holds steady near 4-month low ahead of Fed, Yellen

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Shutterstock photo - - Gold held steady near the lowest level in more than four months on Wednesday, ahead of the Federal Reserve's highly-anticipated policy statement due later in the day.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for April delivery dipped 10 cents, or 0.01%, to trade at $1,148.10 a troy ounce during U.S. morning hours. Prices held in a range between $1,144.90 and $1,152.00.

A day earlier, gold fell to $1,141.60, a level not seen since November 7, before settling at $1,148.20, down $5.00, or 0.43%.

Futures were likely to find support at $1,130.40, the low from November 7, and resistance at $1,159.30, the high from March 17.

The Fed is to announce its federal funds rate and publish its rate statement, which outlines economic projection and the factors affecting the monetary policy decision.

Most market players believe the Fed will drop the word "patience" from its guidance, paving the way for an interest rate hike as early as in June.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen is to hold what will be a closely watched press conference 30 minutes after the release of the statement, for further hints on when the central bank will begin raising rates.

Expectations of higher borrowing rates going forward is considered bearish for gold, as the precious metal struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when rates are on the rise.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was at 100.08, re-approaching a recent 12-year peak of 100.77.

Meanwhile, silver futures for May delivery slumped 7.8 cents, or 0.5%, to trade at $15.50 a troy ounce. On Tuesday, silver fell 3.9 cents, or 0.25%, to close at $15.57.

Elsewhere on the Comex, copper for May delivery dropped 5.1 cents, or 1.94%, to trade at a three-week low of $2.582 a pound as mounting concerns over the health of China's property sector dampened appetite for the red metal.

The National Bureau of Statistics said in a report earlier in the day that home prices in China declined in 66 of the 70 cities tracked by the government in February from a month earlier.

New home prices slumped 5.7% on year last month, following a decline of 5.1% in January.

A cooler property sector not only weighs on demand for copper as construction material, but also dampens consumption from the home appliances sector.

The Asian nation is the world's largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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