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Gold prices inched lower on Tuesday, pressured by an uptick in the dollar, and as traders looked ahead to key US inflation figures this week that could influence the Federal Reserve’s rate-hike narrative.

Spot gold was down 0.3% at $1,669.84 per ounce by 0723 GMT. Prices hit a three-week peak in the previous session, buoyed by a weaker dollar.

US gold futures fell 0.6% to $1,671.10. The dollar index ticked 0.4% higher, making bullion more expensive for overseas buyers.

While gold managed to close near its three-week high on Monday, it has hit resistance around $1,680, potentially spurring some wait-and-see for a greater catalyst to induce an upward break, said IG market strategist Yeap Jun Rong.

The US consumer price index report is due on Thursday.

“A higher-than-expected inflation reading could fan fears of more aggressive rate hikes, which will provide a negative backdrop for non-yielding gold,” Yeap added. Gold is considered a hedge against inflation, but rising interest rates increase the opportunity cost of holding the asset.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell to 905.48 tonnes on Monday, their lowest since early 2020.

Investor focus is also on the US midterm elections later in the day that will determine control of Congress and could spur moves all over the market. A conclusive result could take days.

“Outflows from gold ETFs are weighing on gold … This in conjunction with persistently high inflation and US midterm elections should see gold under pressure leading into Thursday,” said Michael Langford, director at corporate advisory firm AirGuide.

Gold prices slightly fall

“The US midterm elections are more likely to see investors repositioning towards higher risk asset classes and reduce exposure to gold.” Market participants also kept a close tab on any news surrounding COVID-related curbs in top bullion consumer China.

Spot silver was down 0.7% at $20.63.

Platinum rose 0.1% to $980.00 and palladium slipped 0.7% to $1,883.63.

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