MTECHTIPS:-Gold futures edge higher ahead of Yellen speech, U.S. data
Gold futures edged higher early Thursday, as investors looked ahead to a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen scheduled later in the day for additional clarity on the bank’s decision last week to leave interest rates on hold. Gold for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange inched up $3.70, or 0.33%, to trade at $1,135.20 a troy ounce during European morning hours. A day earlier, gold tacked on $6.70, or 0.6%, as steep losses in global equity markets boosted the appeal of the precious metal. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is to speak on inflation dynamics and monetary policy at an event at the University of Massachusetts at 5:00PM ET on Thursday. Market players will scrutinize her comments after the U.S. central bank left interest rates unchanged last week due to concerns over soft inflation and the effects of recent market volatility on the U.S. economy. Besides Yellen’s speech, investors will focus on a few key pieces of U.S. data due later in the day, including jobless claims, durable goods and new home sales, for indications on the strength of the economy and the likelihood of a near-term interest rate hike. The timing of a rate hike in the U.S. has been a constant source of debate in the markets in recent months. Gold fell to a five-and-a-half year low of $1,072.30 on July 24 amid speculation the Fed will raise interest rates for the first time since 2006 at some point this year.