Gold prices edged lower on Tuesday as the dollar firmed up against some of its peers, rebounding from recent losses.
The market was also reacting to the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s testimony before the Senate Banking Committee. Powell told the members that the bank is likely to maintain ultra-easy monetary policy for the foreseeable future.
The dollar index rallied to 90.26, recovering from a low of 89.94, before easing to 90.10, netting a gain of 0.1%.
Gold futures for April ended up $2.50 or about 0.1% at $1,805.90 an ounce.
Silver futures for March ended lower by $0.397 at $27.688 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $4.1785 per pound, gaining $0.0375 for the session.
Powell’s prepared remarks today largely mirrored recent assessments, indicating interest rates will remain at near-zero levels and the Fed will continue its asset purchases at the current rate until “substantial further progress” has been made toward its goals of maximum employment and price stability.
“The economy is a long way from our employment and inflation goals, and it is likely to take some time for substantial further progress to be achieved,” Powell said.
The Fed chief said annual inflation remains below the central bank’s 2% target and reiterated monetary policy is likely to remain unchanged until inflation is on track to moderately exceed 2% for “some time.”
Powell stressed that the Fed remains committed to using its full range of tools to support the economy and to help ensure the recovery will be as robust as possible.
Meanwhile, a report released by the Conference Board today showed consumer confidence in the U.S. has improved more than expected in the month of February. The report said the CB’s consumer confidence index rose to 91.3 in February from a downwardly revised 88.9 in January. Economists had expected the consumer confidence index to inch up to 90.0 from the 89.3 originally reported for the previous month.