Gold prices are slightly lower but treading water in early U.S. dealings Tuesday. The market place awaits what is arguably the most important development this week: testimony from Fed Chair Janet Yellen in front of the U.S. Congress. The stronger U.S. dollar continues to be a bearish underlying factor working against the precious metals bulls. April Comex gold was last down $1.70 at $1,199.10 an ounce. May Comex silver last traded up $0.001 at $16.295 an ounce.
Markets in Asia and Europe were quieter Tuesday, ahead of the big markets event this week: Fed Chair Janet Yellen making trips to Capitol Hill to testify on monetary policy.
She speaks before the Senate Banking Committee Tuesday and to a House panel on Wednesday. The market place wants to get Yellen’s latest read on U.S. economic conditions and just when the Fed will start to raise interest rates. There are widely mixed opinions and no clear consensus on whether Yellen will sound dovish or hawkish on U.S. monetary policy. Her remarks could move many markets, especially on Tuesday, since she will likely repeat on Wednesday what she says Tuesday.
Reports overnight said Greece and European Union finance officials are mostly in agreement on steps Greece needs to take on debt and economic reforms, in order to qualify for more EU financial aid. This matter continues to simmer down in the eyes of traders and investors…for now.