. By Gina – Gold was down on Wednesday morning in Asia as investors digested U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s comments about the possibility of interest rate hikes.Gold futures were down 0.60% to $1,781.10 by 12:36 AM ET (4:36 AM GMT). The U.S. Dollar Index, which usually moves inversely to gold, was up on Wednesday.Yellen on Tuesday said that interest rate hikes might be needed to stop the economy overheating due to U.S. President Joe Biden’s spending plans. She clarified later in the day, however, that she saw no signs of inflation and was not predicting the U.S. Federal Reserve’s move on rates.Investors now await comments from other senior Fed officials, including Chicago Fed President Charles Evans and Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester.Questions also remain pertaining to whether Biden will nominate Fed Chairman Jerome Powell for a second four-year term remains.On the data front, investors await other upcoming economic data from the U.S., including the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) Non-Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) and ADP National Employment Report, both due later in the day. April’s employment report, including non-farm payrolls, is due on Friday.Across the Atlantic, the Bank of England will hand down its policy decision on Thursday.In other precious metals, silver was steady at $26.52 per ounce and palladium inched up 0.1%, while platinum edged down 0.2%. Top producer Nornickel, a Russian nickel and palladium mining and smelting company, reported two waterlogged mines in Siberia which contributed to a supply shortfall.