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Gold losses deepen before Fed rate decision, copper hit by China woes

Gold losses deepen before Fed rate decision, copper hit by China woes
© Reuters.– Gold prices fell further on Wednesday as uncertainty grew before the conclusion of a Federal Reserve meeting and a key Treasury announcement later in the day, while weak economic data from China dented copper prices. 

Easing concerns over the Israel-Hamas war also saw traders pricing in a smaller risk premium for gold, as a lack of major escalation in the conflict lessened concerns over its potential economic impact.

While gold logged stellar gains in October on the back of the conflict, it was hit with a high degree of profit taking in recent sessions, especially as the and Treasury yields advanced before a Fed meeting this week.

fell 0.4% to $1,975.99 an ounce, while December fell 0.5% to $1,984.45 an ounce by 00:23 ET (04:23 GMT). 

Fed rate decision, Treasury auction in focus 

Markets were now focused squarely on the conclusion of a later in the day, where the central bank is widely expected to keep interest rates on hold.

But the bank is also likely to reiterate its higher-for-longer stance on rates, given recent signs of sticky U.S. inflation, strength in the jobs market and overall economic resilience. 

Such a scenario bodes poorly for gold, given that higher interest rates push up the opportunity cost of holding bullion.

But before the Fed decision, markets will be on watch for an announcement from the U.S. Treasury regarding its plans to refinance its massive debt load. 

The announcement is expected to provide more cues on the size and mix of planned Treasury auctions, especially in the face of a severe rout in bond markets over the past month.

Treasury yields rose on Wednesday, with the rising 0.8% to 4.9%- just a hair away from a 16-year peak hit in October. 

Copper prices dip as China PMI pain continues 

Among industrial metals, copper prices fell further on Wednesday following the release of more weak economic data from China. 

fell 0.2% to $3.6452 a pound.

A (PMI) survey showed that China’s manufacturing sector unexpectedly contracted in October. The reading followed a similar decline seen in a released on Tuesday, and pointed to further economic weakness in the world’s largest copper importer.

The manufacturing sector- which is a key driver of Chinese copper demand- is facing renewed headwinds from slowing overseas demand, as economic conditions in China’s biggest trading partners worsen.

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