Feb 24 (Reuters) – Gold prices dropped to their lowest in eight weeks on Friday, pushed down by a stronger dollar and bond yields as the market braced for more interest rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve in the coming months.
US inflation accelerated while consumer spending rebounded sharply by 1.8% in January, reinforcing expectations that the Fed will remain hawkish.
Spot gold fell 0.6% to USD 1,810.89 per ounce by 2:29 p.m. ET (1929 GMT), having touched its lowest since Dec. 30, at USD 1,808.7.
US gold futures slipped 0.5% to settle at USD 1,817.70.
Yields are rising after the data, while also feeding into further dollar strength, which is kryptonite for gold, said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.
Pressuring gold, the dollar index rose to a seven-week peak, while benchmark yields were also en route to their fifth weekly rise.
With US durable goods data due next week, “manufacturing activity is expected to pick up …you’re probably going to get further evidence that the economy is not weakening, which should in theory fuel more inflation worries,” Moya added.
Following a slew of strong economic data, investors have walked back expectations of a deep rate cut this year and expect US rates to peak in July at 5.35% and remain above 5% until the end of the year.
Rising interest rates dull gold’s appeal as they increase the opportunity cost of holding the non-yielding asset.
Tracking losses in gold, spot silver fell 2.3% to USD 20.81 and platinum dipped 4% to USD 909.07.
Palladium, used by automakers in catalytic converters to curb emissions, fell 2.7% to USD 1,386.93, after touching its lowest level since August 2019 at USD 1,363.52.
“Palladium is not a metal that’s in vogue with the emphasis shifting to metals used in electric vehicles,” said Edward Meir, a metals analyst at Marex.
“I don’t think palladium is getting much traction either from technicals, which are very poor as well as fundamentals which also don’t look that great.”
(Reporting by Seher Dareen and Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Bharat Govind Gautam; Editing by Tomasz Janowski, Krishna Chandra Eluri and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
This article originally appeared on reuters.com