PRECIOUS-Gold hits 1-month peak after Fed's Powell calms taper fears

* Powell says tapering ‘still a ways off’

* Dollar eases off three-month peak

* Platinum hits one-month high (Updates prices)

July 15 (Reuters) – Gold prices rose their highest level in a month on Thursday after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell played down fears of the early easing of monetary support, sending the dollar and U.S. Treasury yields lower.

Spot gold was steady at $1,825.27 per ounce, as of 1053 GMT, after hitting its highest since June 16. U.S. gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,827.10.

In a testimony to the U.S. Congress, Powell said the U.S. job market “is still a ways off” from the progress that the central bank wants to see before reducing its support for the economy, and current high inflation will ease soon.

“The tapering is not yet in the cards and the Fed will continue with its bonds purchases. Therefore we are likely to see more of liquidity in the market which at the end will be helping gold prices,” Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg said.

“At the moment gold prices are likely to consolidate around current level. But we do expect acceleration of the price increases will happen towards the year end.”

Key U.S. indicators of inflation this week showed producer prices surged in June to the largest annual gain in more than 10-1/2 years, while consumer prices rose by the most in 13 years.

Non-yielding gold tends to gain in a low interest-rate environment, while some investors also view gold as a hedge against higher inflation that could follow stimulus measures.

The dollar index backed off from recent highs, while 10-year U.S. Treasury yields slipped.

“As long as the balance sheet remains in an expansionary mode and interest rate being so low, gold still has the potential to move towards $2,000 by the end of this year,” said Hitesh Jain, lead analyst at Mumbai-based Yes Securities.

Elsewhere, silver was flat at $26.23 per ounce, while platinum climbed 0.8% to $1,141.23, after hitting its highest level in a month.

Palladium fell 0.9% to $2,801.63 per ounce.

Source: Read Full Article