April 19 (Reuters) – Gold prices edged higher on Wednesday, helped by a softer US dollar, while traders assessed prospects of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates just once more in May before pausing.
* Spot gold was up 0.1% at USD 2,006.09 per ounce, as of 0023 GMT. US gold futures eased 0.1% to USD 2,018.20.
* The dollar index was slightly lower, making gold less expensive for buyers holding other currencies.
* The US central bank should continue raising interest rates on the back of recent data showing inflation remains persistent while the broader economy seems poised to continue growing, even if slowly, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on Tuesday.
* But Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic said the US central bank probably has one more rate rise ahead of it.
* The CME FedWatch tool shows that markets are pricing in an 83.2% chance of a 25 basis-point hike in May.
* Gold is considered a hedge against inflation and economic uncertainties, but higher interest rates dim the non-yielding asset’s appeal.
* Meanwhile, the European Central Bank’s (ECB) chief economist backed a further rate increase at the ECB’s next meeting but said its size would depend on incoming data, especially a survey of euro zone banks.
* SPDR Gold Trust GLD, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.16% to 924.25 tonnes on Tuesday from 925.70 tonnes on Monday. GOL/ETF
* Spot silver edged up 0.1% to USD 25.23 per ounce, platinum was 0.1% lower at USD 1,081.66 and palladium gained 1.2% to USD 1,627.03.
0600 UK Core CPI, CPI YY March
0900 EU HICP Final MM, YY Feb
1800 US Federal Reserve issues the Beige Book
(Reporting by Kavya Guduru in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)