Gold prices were unchanged in early Asian trade on Wednesday, as the precious metal was caught between a firmer dollar and safe-haven demand driven by the Delta coronavirus variant fears.
Spot gold was flat at $1,785.66 per ounce by 0103 GMT, after hitting its highest since Aug. 6 at $1,795.25 on Tuesday. US gold futures were flat at $1,787.20.
The dollar hit a nine-month high against the euro on Wednesday and held near recent peaks on other majors.
Gold often competes with the dollar as a safe store of value during political and financial uncertainties, with a higher dollar also making gold more expensive for those holding other currencies.
US retail sales fell more than expected in July as shortages depressed motor vehicle purchases and the boost to spending from the economy’s reopening and stimulus checks faded, suggesting a slowdown in growth early in the third quarter.
Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari said on Tuesday it could be “reasonable” to start reducing the Fed‘s bond-buying program later this year, though it would depend on making further progress in the labour market.
Investors now await the minutes from Fed’s July meeting for any guidance on taper plans.
SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.3% to 1,017.14 tonnes on Tuesday from 1,020.63 tonnes on Monday.
Silver rose 0.1% to $23.65 per ounce.
rose 0.2% to $999.53, after falling 2.5% in the previous session.
Palladium rose 1.1% to $2,516.22, having tumbled 4.5% on Tuesday.