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AMSTERDAM/LONDON: Gold steadied in a narrow range on Monday, as investors awaited US inflation data and clarity on when the Federal Reserve might start tapering economic support measures.

Spot gold inched 0.1% higher to $1,891.41 per ounce by 10:29 a.m. EDT (1429 GMT). US gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,894.40.

Inflation will remain in focus, with the US consumer price index report due on Thursday, and central bank meetings scheduled in Europe and Canada. Bullion is considered a hedge against inflation, which could follow stimulus measures.

While gold is pretty bullish, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s comments are keeping a lid on prices, said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.

Yellen said on Sunday that President Joe Biden’s $4 trillion spending plan would be good for the United States even if it contributes to rising inflation and results in higher interest rates, Bloomberg News reported.

“The big thing people are waiting for is the Fed’s plan is on easing and also on (interest) rates” and if the Fed remains quiet over the next week or two ... you could see a move north of $1,900,” while a failure to break above $1,900 could push it down, dependent on the Fed’s stance, RJO’s Haberkorn said.

Buoying gold, the dollar index inched down, potentially boosting appeal for those holding other currencies.

Longer to medium term, “we might see more volatility on equity markets, which will be increasing the value of gold as a safe haven (and) as inflation protection,” Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg said.

Gold had risen over 1% on Friday after a weaker-than-expected US monthly jobs report calmed fears about the Fed reining in monetary stimulus in the near future.

Lower interest rates decrease the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding gold.

Silver was flat at $27.79 per ounce, palladium shed 0.4% to $2,833.78, while platinum rose 0.5% to $1,168.00.

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