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Gold edges higher, on track for third straight monthly gain

January 31, 2023By Reuters

Jan 31 (Reuters) – Gold prices edged up on Tuesday, en route to their third straight month of gains, as the dollar weakened, while market participants awaited the US Federal Reserve policy decision later this week amid hopes of a less-aggressive rate hike.

Spot gold rose 0.2% to USD 1,925.39 per ounce as of 0257 GMT and was headed for a monthly gain of more than 5%.

US gold futuresĀ were up 0.1% at USD 1,940.30.

The dollar index was down 0.1% and was set for a fourth straight monthly drop. A weaker greenback tends to make dollar-priced bullion an attractive bet.

Traders mostly expect the Fed to scale back rate hikes to 25 basis points (bps) at its two-day policy meeting that ends on Wednesday. The US central bank slowed its tightening pace to 50 bps in December after four straight 75-bp hikes.

“The market is trading in a narrow range ahead of the Fed meet. The gold market has already priced in a 25-bps hike, if the Fed strikes a dovish tone, then it will be positive for gold,” said Ajay Kedia, director at Kedia Commodities, Mumbai.

A low interest-rate environment decreases the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

Top gold consumer China’s economic activity swung back to growth in January, official data showed, after a wave of COVID-19 infections passed through the country faster than expected following the dismantling of its pandemic controls.

“With the Chinese economy recovering, physical gold demand in China will improve. Also, there will be support for other precious metals, which are industrial in nature,” Kedia added.

Elsewhere, spot silver rose 0.4% to USD 23.67 per ounce, platinum gained 0.1% at USD 1,009.76, and palladium inched up 0.4% to USD 1,635.48. But all three metals were headed for a monthly decline.

(Reporting by Ashitha Shivaprasad in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Savio D’Souza)

 

This article originally appeared on reuters.com

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