Gold was down on Thursday morning in Asia, with the U.S. Federal Reserve signaling that asset tapering could begin within 2021 and that interest rate hikes could come sooner than expected as well.
Gold futures fell 0.80% to $1764.65 by 11:48 PM ET (3:48 AM GMT). The dollar, which usually moves inversely to gold, edged down after earlier gains on Thursday but remained near a one-month high.
The Fed handed down its latest policy decision on Wednesday and said that asset tapering could begin as soon as November. It could also hike interest rates in 2022 to tackle rising inflation.
The Bank of England and Norges Bank will hand down their respective policy decisions later in the day.
In Asia Pacific, the Bank of Japan kept its interest rate unchanged at -0.10% as it handed down its policy decision on Wednesday.
Elsewhere in the region, China Evergrande Group (HK:3333) on Wednesday temporarily alleviated fears about an imminent market shock from its debt crisis. The property developer reached an agreement to settle interest payments on a domestic bond, while the People’s Bank of China also injected cash into the banking system.
Asian shares made cautious gains on Thursday, supported by some positive news from cash-strapped developer China Evergrande Group, while the dollar held near a one-month top after the U.S. Federal Reserve took a hawkish tilt overnight.
However, nerves were still frayed about Evergrande’s future and the country’s property sector as a whole, with a major test looming on Thursday when $83.5 million in dollar-bond interest payments by the company were due.
“It’s a long way to go yet in terms of this being resolved,” said Kerry Craig, global market strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management.
“You’ll see some of the immediate fears of a huge collapse and contagion start to recede, but it will still be an issue that pops up because the property market and construction is such a massive part of the Chinese economy.”
As Hong Kong markets came off a holiday, Evergrande’s shares surged 30% to mark their best day ever as its chairman sought to reassure investors and as the company’s unit said on Wednesday it had “resolved” a coupon payment on an onshore bond.
Its stock pared gains to trade up 13%, lifting the Hong Kong benchmark by 0.7%, while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.5%.
Oil was up Thursday morning in Asia, continuing its upward trend as the latest U.S. crude oil supply data showed a bigger-than-expected draw.
The black liquid also benefitted from increasing investor risk appetite as concerns that China Evergrande Group (HK:3333)would default on its loans and impact the second-largest economy somewhat eased.
Brent oil futures were up 0.25% to $76.38 by 12:23 AM ET (4:23 AM GMT) and WTI futures were up 0.22% to $72.39.
U.S. crude oil supply data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), released on Wednesday, showed a draw of 3.481 million barrels for the week to Sep. 17. Forecasts prepared by Investing.com predicted a 2.440-million-barrel draw, while a 6.422-million-barrel draw was recorded during the previous week.
Crude oil supply data from the American Petroleum Institute, released a day before, showed a draw of 6.108 million barrels.
Both Brent and WTI futures jumped 2.5% on Wednesday as the EIA data indicated that supplies were at their lowest level since October 2018.
“Oil fundamentals remain constructive, particularly in the U.S.,” ING commodities strategists said in a note.
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