Gold holds steady as traders seek direction from US data

Gold holds steady as traders seek direction from US data

Gold prices held steady on Friday as investors awaited US inflation data due later in the day after mixed signals from Federal Reserve officials this week on interest rate hikes.

FUNDAMENTALS
Spot gold was flat at $1,773.52 per ounce by 0104 GMT. Prices have risen 0.6% so far this week.

US gold futures eased 0.2% to $1,773.60 per ounce.

The dollar index was little changed against a basket of currencies at 91.839, holding below a two-month high of 92.408 touched last week.

On Thursday, two Fed officials warned that inflation could rise more than policymakers’ expectation in the near term. Other US central bank policymakers said employment needed much more improvement after job losses during the pandemic.

Data showed fewer Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week as the labour market steadily recovers from the pandemic amid a reopening economy.

New orders for key US-made capital goods unexpectedly fell in May, likely held back by shortages of some products, but a solid increase in shipments suggested business spending remained strong in the second quarter.

Investor focus now shifts to US producer price data on Friday for further clues on rising inflation. US non-farm payrolls data is due next week.

The Bank of England said inflation would surpass 3% as Britain’s locked-down economy reopens, but the climb further above its 2% target would only be “temporary” and most policymakers favoured keeping stimulus at full throttle.

Some investors view gold as a hedge against higher inflation that could follow stimulus measures.

SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.4% to 1,042.87 tonnes on Thursday.

Silver was steady at $25.87 per ounce, palladium eased 0.1% to $2,614.04. Platinum climbed 0.5% to $1,089.

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