• Gold remained confined in a narrow trading range for the second successive day on Tuesday.
  • A continual rise in the US bond yields underpinned the USD and capped the upside for the metal.
  • A weaker tone around the equity markets helped limit losses for the safe-haven commodity.

Gold extended its sideways consolidative price move for the second successive day and seesawed between tepid gains/minor losses through the Asian session on Tuesday. As investors looked past Friday's devastating US retail sales report, the prospects for a faster policy tightening by the Fed assisted the US dollar to build on its recovery from over a two-month low. This, in turn, was seen as a key factor that acted as a headwind for the dollar-denominated commodity.

The markets seem convinced that the US central bank would start raising interest rates in March 2022 to combat stubbornly high inflation. This was reinforced by last week's data, which showed that the headline US CPI surged to the highest level since June 1982 and core CPI registered the biggest advance since 1991. This, in turn, pushed the yield on the benchmark 10-year US government bond to the highest level since January 2020 and underpinned the greenback.

Moreover, the US 2-year notes, which are highly sensitive to rate hike expectations, surged past the 1.0% mark for the first time since February 2020. This was seen as another factor that weighed on the non-yielding yellow metal. That said, an extended sell-off in the US bond markets tempered investors' appetite for riskier assets. This was evident from a turnaround in the equity markets, which helped limit the downside for the safe-haven precious metal.

Traders might also prefer to wait on the sidelines ahead of the upcoming FOMC policy meeting on January 25-26. The outcome will be looked upon for clearer signals about the likely timing when the Fed will be commencing its rate hike cycle and provide a fresh directional impetus to the XAU/USD. In the meantime, traders on Tuesday will take cues from the release of the Empire State Manufacturing Index for some short-term opportunities later during the early North American session.

Technical outlook

From a technical perspective, the XAU/USD, so far, has managed to hold its neck comfortably above the very important 200-day SMA, around the $1,800 mark. This is followed by an upward sloping trend-line extending from August 2021 swing low, currently around the $1,790 region, which should now act as a pivotal point. A convincing break below will be seen as a fresh trigger for bearish traders and pave the way for deeper losses. Gold might then accelerate the slide towards the $1,768-67 intermediate support en-route December swing low, around the $1,753 region.

On the flip side, the $1,830-32 supply zone should continue to act as immediate strong resistance. Some follow-through buying has the potential to lift spot prices to the next relevant hurdle near the $1,848-50 region. The upward trajectory could further get extended towards the $1,869-70 area en-route the $1,877 zone, or a multi-month high touched in mid-November.

fxsoriginal

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