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Gold prices climbed on Thursday to highest in more than 3 weeks as the US dollar and bond yields hit multi-month lows on mounting bets the Federal Reserve will start cutting interest rates as soon as next March.

Spot gold was up 0.5% at $2,086.69 per ounce, as of 0406 GMT, hitting its highest since Dec. 4, when prices raced to a record high of $2,135.40.

It looked set to mark its best year in three with a 14% gain. US gold futures rose 0.2% to $2,096.50 per ounce.

Lower yields and dollar indicate diminished risk around interest rate volatility “and have given gold that extra drive towards $2100 per ounce level,” Kyle Rodda, a financial market analyst at Capital.com, said.

Bets on Fed cutting interest rates firmed following cooler inflation data, with traders now indicating an 88% likelihood of monetary policy easing in March, according to the CME FedWatch tool.

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

Increasing gold’s appeal, the dollar index slipped to a five-month low and was set for its worst yearly performance since 2020, while benchmark US 10-year bond yields languished near their lowest level since July.

Gold holds steady as traders eye jobs

Going into 2024, gold’s movement “depends on whether the markets have gone too ahead of themselves while pricing in rate cuts, and whether recessionary conditions start to emerge in the US,” Rodda said.

Market participants now await US initial jobless claims data due at 1330 GMT for further cues on monetary policy.

Spot silver rose 0.7% to $24.42 per ounce and was poised to end the year with a near 2% annual gain.

Platinum rose 0.2% to hit a more than six-month high of $999.00.

Palladium rose 0.2% to $1,156.16, but was on track for its biggest yearly decline since 2008.

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