MTECHTIPS;-Gold stays near lowest in 5 weeks on Fed rate hike bets

MTECHTIPS;-Gold stays near lowest in 5 weeks on Fed rate hike bets

MTECHTIPS-Gold prices held near their lowest level in around five weeks in North American trade on Tuesday, amid expectations for more U.S. interest rate hikes this year. Comex gold futures were at $1,247.25 a troy ounce by 8:55 AM ET (1255 GMT), little changed on the day. Prices fell to $1,244.10 in overnight trade, a level not seen since May 17. Gold prices lost about $10.00, or 0.8%, on Monday. Also on the Comex, silver futures were down 4.2 cents, or roughly 0.3%, to $16.46 a troy ounce, its lowest since May 18. Market expectations for another Fed rate hike later this year have improved in wake of hawkish comments made by influential New York Fed Chief William Dudley on Monday. Dudley gave an upbeat assessment of the economy and warned against the central bank taking a pause in the tightening cycle. He added that U.S. inflation is a bit low but should rise alongside wages as the labor market continues to improve, allowing the Fed to continue gradually tightening U.S. monetary policy. The remarks echoed similar comments made by Fed Chair Janet Yellen in last week’s press conference after the central bank hiked rates for the second time this year and maintained plans to go ahead with another rate hike by year-end. The Fed also provided greater detail about how it plans to reduce its massive $4.5 trillion balance sheet

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