(Kitco News) – In what may be one of the most important trading days of the year, gold and silver prices are lower in midday U.S. trading Tuesday and lost good early gains as Fed Chairman Jerome Powell “wrong-footed” the marketplace by suggesting that a tighter U.S. monetary policy is necessary to keep inflation at bay and to keep supply chains moving along.
The U.S. dollar index regained most of its sharp, early losses on Powell’s remarks and that was bearish for the metals. Also, Nymex crude oil prices tanked to a three-month low of $65.65 as of this writing, also negative for the metals and the raw commodity sector.
February gold was last down $13.90 at $1,771.50 and March Comex silver was last down $0.082 at $22.77 an ounce. Traders and investors very closely monitored comments from Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in their testimony to the Senate Banking Committee today—especially in light of the new Omicron scare.
Powell said the monthly U.S. bond-buying program of the Fed needs to be tapered earlier as the Fed chair seemed to be more worried about supply-chain disruptions from the new coronavirus strain that is prompting new concerns about major economies once again being crimped by business lockdowns.
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