Gold prices rose for a fourth straight session on Thursday as the dollar faltered, although bullion’s outlook remained cloudy as several US Federal Reserve officials said more interest rate hikes were required to rein in inflation.
Gold is sensitive to high interest rates, which increase the opportunity cost of holding zero-yield bullion. Spot gold was up 0.2% at $1,879.65 per ounce, as of 0515 GMT. US gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,891.70.
“Gold has entered a consolidation phase, which means it is trading in narrow ranges and bouncing between technical levels,” said Matt Simpson, a senior market analyst at City Index.
The dollar index eased 0.1%, making dollar-priced gold a more attractive bet for overseas buyers. Fed officials said on Wednesday more rate hikes are in the cards as the US central bank pushes to cool inflation, with Fed Governor Christopher Waller saying while wage growth has slowed, the decline is “not enough” and “the Fed will need to keep a tight stance of monetary policy for some time.”
The comments were seen as hawkish by the markets, and kept a lid on gold prices, although Fed Chair Powell’s less hawkish-than-expected comments on Tuesday helped gold remain above last week’s lows, said City Index’s Simpson, adding there may be “volatility on the lower side” in prices leading into the inflation data due next week.
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The US Labor Department’s consumer price report will be keenly watched by investors for clues on the Fed’s future monetary policy stance.
Market participants are expecting the Fed’s target rate to peak at 5.128% in July, from a current range of 4.5% to 4.75%. Spot silver rose 0.4% to $22.40 per ounce, platinum added 0.6% to $975.95 and palladium gained 0.7% to $1,660.18.
“Strong demand and constrained supply will be the story for PGMs (platinum group metals) this year,” analysts at ANZ said in a note. “Easing availability of chips will see the auto sector performing well, boosting auto catalyst demand for PGMs.”