PRECIOUS-Gold gains as soft dollar lifts bullion appeal; Fed in focus

BY Reuters | ECONOMIC | 09/27/21 03:21 AM EDT

* Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust rose 0.1% on Friday

* 10-year Treasury yields hit a peak since early-July (Recasts, adds comment, and updates prices)

By Eileen Soreng

Sept 27 (Reuters) - Gold prices firmed on Monday, propped up by a subdued dollar and slight retreat in the U.S. Treasury yields, with investors gearing up for speeches from U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers this week for cues on the central bank's rate hike timeline.

Spot gold was up 0.4% at $1,757.00 per ounce, as of 0656 GMT, while U.S. gold futures were up 0.4% at $1,758.50.

The dollar index softened, making bullion cheaper for holders of other currencies. Meanwhile the benchmark 10-year Treasury yields eased after hitting their highest since early-July.

"Gold is still looking slightly precarious where it is right now, and it's probably bouncing off key technical level around $1,750," IG Market analyst Kyle Rodda said.

A slew of Fed officials are due to speak this week including Chairman Jerome Powell, who will testify this week before Congress on the central bank's policy response to the pandemic.

"There'll be a lot of questions being put to Fed speakers about what the dot plots implied last week and whether there is higher risk of heightened inflation going forward and that rate hikes could be coming in the first half of 2022," Rodda added.

Gold is often considered a hedge against higher inflation, but a Fed rate hike would increase the opportunity cost of holding gold, which pays no interest.

Investors also kept a close watch on developments in debt-laden property giant China Evergrande saga as the firm missed a payment on offshore bonds last week, with further payment due this week.

The People's Bank of China continues to inject liquidity into markets indicating some systemic risks in the market and supported the bullion, Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, said.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, increased 0.1% to 993.52 tonnes on Friday.

Silver rose 0.9% to $22.62 per ounce.

Platinum climbed 0.8% to $990.04, while palladium gained 0.6% to $1,983.89.

(Reporting by Eileen Soreng and Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M. and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

In general the bond market is volatile, and fixed income securities carry interest rate risk. (As interest rates rise, bond prices usually fall, and vice versa. This effect is usually more pronounced for longer-term securities.) Fixed income securities also carry inflation risk and credit and default risks for both issuers and counterparties. Unlike individual bonds, most bond funds do not have a maturity date, so avoiding losses caused by price volatility by holding them until maturity is not possible.

Lower-quality debt securities generally offer higher yields, but also involve greater risk of default or price changes due to potential changes in the credit quality of the issuer. Any fixed income security sold or redeemed prior to maturity may be subject to loss.

Before investing, consider the funds' investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Contact Fidelity for a prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus containing this information. Read it carefully.

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