Oct 27 (Reuters) – Gold prices eased on Wednesday, retreating from the key $1,800 mark, as a stronger U.S. dollar and elevated bond yields dented bullion’s safe-haven appeal ahead of key central bank meetings.
* Spot gold was down 0.2% at $1,788.66 per ounce, as of 0157 GMT. U.S. gold futures dropped 0.2% to $1,790.60.
* The precious metal rallied to an over one-month peak late last week, but has retreated 1.2% from those levels.
* Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields rose, increasing non-interest bearing gold’s opportunity cost.
* The dollar also steadied close to a one-week high hit in the previous session, making gold less appealing for buyers holding other currencies. USD/
* Market participants now await Thursday’s Bank of Japan (BOJ) and European Central Bank (ECB) meetings.
* The BOJ is set to maintain its massive stimulus programme on Thursday and slash this year’s inflation forecast in a sign it has no intention to follow other central banks eyeing exits from crisis-mode policies.
* Gold is often considered an inflation hedge, though reduced stimulus and interest rate hikes push government bond yields up, translating into a higher opportunity cost for holding bullion.
* U.S. consumer confidence unexpectedly rose in October as concerns about high inflation were offset by better labour market prospects, suggesting economic growth was picking up after a turbulent third quarter.
* China’s net gold imports via Hong Kong jumped nearly 60% in September to their highest level in five months, data from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department showed.
* Indicative of sentiment, SPDR Gold Trust GLD, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.2% to 979.81 tonnes on Tuesday from 978.07 tonnes on Monday.
* Spot silver fell 0.8% to $23.95 per ounce. Platinum eased 0.7% to $1,020.61 and palladium edged 0.3% lower to $2,005.51.
DATA/EVENTS (GMT, Oct) 1230 US Durable Goods Sept
Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips