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Gold Up, Dollar Strengthens as Fed Chair Jerome Powell Confirmed for Second Term

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By Gina Lee

Investing.com – Gold was up on Tuesday morning in Asia, but remained near its lowest level in more than two weeks. Bets on quicker-than-expected interest rate hikes increased after U.S. President Joe Biden nominated incumbent Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to a second term.

Gold futures edged up 0.11% to $1,808.03 by 11:31 PM ET (4:31 AM GMT) after tumbling 2.1% to their lowest level since Nov. 5 on Monday. The dollar, which normally moves inversely to gold, inched up on Tuesday and remained close to a 16-month high.

Biden nominated Powell for a second four-year term on Monday over Lael Brainard, who was promoted to Fed vice-chair. Both Powell and Brainard’s roles will need to be confirmed by the Senate.

“There isn't going to be any sudden hawkish shift due to the nomination, but a continuation to current policy with a quicker asset tapering tabled by officials last week," SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes told Reuters.

Meanwhile, investors also continue to monitor the surging numbers of COVID-19 cases in Europe. However, Governor of the Bank of France Francois Villeroy de Galhau said on Monday that the resurgence of cases and high inflation will not change its plan to begin asset tapering in March 2022.

"The COVID-19 resurgence in Europe may cause central banks to back off rate hike expectations and there's still some need for gold in this kind of environment," said Innes.

In Asia Pacific, China should avoid “campaign-like and aggressive” economic measures even as the economic recovery from COVID-19 faces new downward pressures, said Premier Li Keqiang.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand will hand down its policy decision on Wednesday, with the Bank of Korea following a day later.

In other precious metals, silver and platinum gained 0.4%, while palladium jumped 1.3%.

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