Markets 2 MIN READ

Gold inches up as investors await US economic data

February 20, 2023By Reuters

Feb 20 (Reuters) – Gold prices edged higher on Monday on a slightly weaker dollar, as investors looked out for upcoming US economic data for clues on the Federal Reserve’s rate hike path.

Spot gold was up 0.2% to USD 1,845.93 per ounce at 9:43 a.m. ET (1443 GMT), after falling to its lowest since late December in the previous session. US gold futures gained 0.3% to USD 1,855.10.

“We still look for higher prices over the coming quarters, but near term, I think gold will stay volatile until US economic data indicates a slowdown in economic activity,” said UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo.

Economic data last week showed signs of a resilient US economy and a tight labour market, sparking speculation the Fed would keep interest rates higher for longer.

Investor attention will be on the release of the Federal Open Market Committee’s January meeting minutes and US GDP data.

Several Fed officials last week signaled that more rate hikes were needed to bring inflation down to the central bank’s 2% target.

“Further dollar-led weakness could see gold target support in the USD 1,792 to USD 1,776 area with resistance at USD 1,872,” Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen said in a note.

The dollar index was slightly lower on the day, making greenback-priced gold less expensive for holders of other currencies.

Markets expect the Fed funds rate to peak just under 5.3% by July, with analysts seeing the dollar having run its course for now.

Benchmark US Treasury yields reached their highest in over three months on Friday as well.

Higher interest rates discourage investment in non-yielding gold, although it is considered a hedge against soaring prices.

Spot silver rose 0.4% to USD 21.80 per ounce, platinum jumped 1.4% to USD 929.53, and palladium was up 1.3% to USD 1,517.87.

Liquidity is expected to be thin on Monday, with US markets closed for Presidents’ Day.

(Reporting by Seher Dareen in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Mark Potter)


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