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Gold prices edged lower on Tuesday as investors awaited US inflation data due later in the week that could offer more clarity on the Federal Reserve’s rate-hike plans to combat rising pricing pressures.

Spot gold was down 0.2% at $1,785.23 per ounce, as of 0521 GMT. US gold futures eased 0.2% to $1,802.10.

On Monday, gold prices rose towards a one-month high scaled last week, as the dollar and Treasury yields pulled back after a rally driven by Friday’s blockbuster US jobs report.

Markets are looking ahead to the US consumer price report for July, which will be released on Wednesday. Analysts polled by Reuters expect annual inflation to have eased to 8.7% from 9.1% in June.

“Investors understand that both the US and global economies are facing significant challenges, but the emphasis will be on the question for how long higher rates will be a weight on the market,” said Clifford Bennett, chief economist at ACY Securities.

“Any surprise softening in the US inflation number could well be the catalyst for a tremendous surge in the gold price.”

Gold gains as dollar, yields slip; focus on US inflation data

Fed funds futures traders are now pricing for a 64.5% chance of another 75-basis-point rate hike at the US central bank’s next policy meeting in September to combat soaring inflation.

Although gold is seen as a hedge against inflation, higher US interest rates dull non-yielding bullion’s appeal.

US consumers’ expectations for where inflation will be in a year and three years dropped sharply in July, a New York Federal Reserve survey showed on Monday, indicating US central bankers are winning the fight.

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s foreign minister said that China was using the military drills it launched in protest against US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit as an excuse to prepare for an invasion of the self-ruled island.

Spot silver was up 0.1% at $20.66 per ounce, platinum was steady at $939.50, and palladium slipped 1.6% to $2,195.42.

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