Gold falls as investors react to Powell's speech

By Xu JingUnreguser

CHICAGO, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell on Wednesday as investors reacted to Fed Chair Jerome Powell's speech.

The most active gold contract for February delivery fell 3.8 U.S. dollars, or 0.22 percent, to close at 1,759.9 dollars per ounce.

Speaking at the Brookings Institution on Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell signaled that the Fed is not yet done with containing inflation, but the pace of interest rate increases can slow as soon as the December meeting. He noted the Fed has "not seen clear progress on slowing inflation," suggesting more rate hikes to come. This puts pressure on gold.

Economic data released Wednesday are mixed. U.S. Commerce Department reported that U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.9 percent in the third quarter of 2022. In the second quarter, real GDP decreased 0.6 percent.

U.S. Labor Department reported that there were 10.3 million available jobs in October, down from nearly 10.7 million in September.

The National Association of Realtors reported that U.S. pending home sales index fell 4.6 percent to 77.1 in October, better than a 5.0-percent decline expected by economists.

The Automated Data Processing Inc. reported that U.S. private employers added 127,000 hires to their payrolls in November, down from the 239,000 new hires in October and below market expectations of 190,000 additions for the month.

The Institute of Supply Management-Chicago reported that Chicago purchasing managers index tumbled to 37.2 points in November from 45.20 points in October, marking the third consecutive month of contractions. It is also the lowest reading since May 2020 and well below market forecasts of 47.

Gold ended 7.3 percent higher for November, the first monthly gain since March.

Silver for March delivery rose 34.5 cents, or 1.61 percent, to close at 21.781 dollars per ounce. Platinum for January delivery rose 30.7 dollars, or 3.04 percent, to close at 1,039.3 dollars per ounce.

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