Gold prices traded below breakeven on Monday, as increased expectations the Federal Reserve would hike rates in June offset a rise in geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and Korea.
Gold for April delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange lost $3.45, or 0.27%, to $1,253.75 a troy ounce by 13:48 EDT.
Gold failed to capitalise on broad-based dollar selling, as the yellow metal pulled back from a session high of $1,258.75, after expectations grew that the Fed would hike interest rates in June.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell by 0.16% to 100.92 by 13:49 EDT.
Dollar denominated assets such as gold are sensitive to moves in the dollar, as a strengthening greenback, tends to lessen demand for the yellow metal, making it more expensive for foreign buyers.
Trading volumes across markets remained thin, as investors paused to reflect on rising geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, after last week’s U.S. missile strike on an airbase in Syria.
Meanwhile, geopolitical tensions in Asia surfaced, following the U.S decision to move a Navy strike group toward the Korean peninsula amid continued missile tests by North Korea.
Expectations that the Federal Reserve will hike rates in June continued to limit upside for gold prices.
According to investing.com’s Fed rate monitor tool, over 52% of traders expected the Fed to hike interest rate in June, compared to 49% a week earlier.
Meanwhile, a speech from Fed Chair Janet Yellen at 4:10 p.m. EDT on Monday, is expected to be closely monitored by investors for any clues concerning future monetary policy.