LONDON (Reuters) - Gold hit a five-week low on Tuesday as the dollar rallied following hawkish comments from an influential U.S. Federal Reserve official and dovish remarks from the Bank of England governor.
New York Fed President William Dudley said on Monday that labour market tightness should help drive up inflation, reinforcing the message that recent weak data is unlikely to derail plans to keep raising interest rates.
The greenback had a further lift on Tuesday following dovish comments from Bank of England Governor Mark Carney. Also on Tuesday, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said that the era of low interest rates in the U.S. and elsewhere poses financial stability risks and that central bankers must factor such concerns into their decision-making.[FRX/]
"It (another U.S. rate hike) is not entirely unlikely. Gold from now to the end of the year could see slight drops, especially if (on top of Fed hikes) the European Central Bank starts tapering its bond buying programme," said Natixis analyst Bernard Dahdah.
Spot gold traded flat at $1,242.40 per ounce by 1511 GMT, after earlier touching a low of $1,241 an ounce, the weakest since May 17.
U.S. gold futures fell 0.2 percent to $1,243.80.
Investors are pricing in around a 50 percent chance that rates will be raised again by the year-end, according to CME FedWatch. A strong dollar makes dollar-priced gold costlier for non-U.S. investors.
"The market attributes considerable weight to Dudley's words, as he represents the majority opinion of the Federal Open Markets Committee," said Commerzbank in a note.
In the wider markets, a 2.5 percent drop in oil prices to their lowest in seven months dragged global equities off all-time highs, limiting losses in gold which is seen as an alternative investment to volatile stocks.
"Mixed U.S dollar trade provided some respite for gold during Asian trade on Tuesday, however, not to the extent we expected we would see," MKS PAMP trader Sam Laughlin said in a note.
"The next key level of support sits around $1,240, with a broad extension to the 200 day moving average around $1,237."
Among other metals, spot palladium traded up 0.4 at $865.50 per ounce, and platinum slipped 0.5 percent to $921.50.
Silver fell 0.3 percent to $16.41, having earlier touched $16.37, its weakest since May 12.
(Additional reporting by Nithin ThomasPrasad, editing by David Evans and Pritha Sarkar)