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Gold struggles for traction on doubts about Fed pause

July 17, 2023By Reuters

July 17 (Reuters) – Gold prices were little changed on Monday, with bullion traders still doubtful about whether the Federal Reserve may soon signal an end to its monetary tightening path.

Spot gold was steady at USD 1,953.91 per ounce at 1:42 p.m. EDT (1742 GMT). US gold futures settled 0.4% lower at USD 1,956.40.

The dollar hovered near a more than one-year low, making gold less expensive for other currency holders.

“(Gold) investors at this point are quite reluctant to go fully bullish despite last week’s inflation data,” said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategies at TD Securities.

Bullion posted its biggest weekly gain since April last week on bets that the Fed could pause rate hikes after July after US data hinted at a disinflationary trend as consumer prices grew at their slowest pace in over two years.

Traders largely expect the central bank to hike rates in its July 25-26 meeting.

“Gold is likely to be under pressure as the US economy continues to be quite firm, particularly on the employment front. In my view it is very unlikely that the Fed is going to commit to a tilt towards a more dovish policy stance,” Melek added.

Higher interest rates dull gold’s allure as they increase the opportunity cost of holding the non-yielding asset.

Investors also took stock of data from China that showed the top bullion consumer’s economy grew at a frail pace in the second quarter.

Silver fell 0.5% to USD 24.82 per ounce.

“While sentiment may be good towards silver investment, industrial applications retain the majority of market share,” Heraeus analysts wrote in a note.

“An improvement in activity in China and Europe may be needed to see the (silver) price rise much further in the second half of 2023.”

Platinum rose 0.6% to USD 977.42 and palladium gained 1.2% to USD 1,286.13.

(Reporting by Ashitha Shivaprasad in Bengaluru; Editing by David Holmes and Andrea Ricci)


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