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Gold prices rose on Monday as renewed bets that the US Federal Reserve would begin cutting interest rates in June and a softer dollar lifted bullion’s appeal.

Spot gold was up 0.4% at $2,172.09 per ounce, as of 0350 GMT.

US gold futures climbed 0.6% to $2,173.40 per ounce.

The dollar was down 0.1% against its rivals, making gold less expensive for other currency holders.

“The environment is still looking quite healthy for the precious metal markets,” said Tim Waterer, chief market analyst at KCM Trade.

“Markets are still looking forward to impending rate cuts from the Fed. Looks like June is being the most probable time when they are sort of expected to pull the trigger on that first rate cut.”

Gold prices rose to an all-time high on Thursday after Fed policymakers indicated they still expected to reduce interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point by the end of 2024 despite recent high inflation readings.

Lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding bullion.

Gold retreats as dollar firms

Traders are now pricing in a 74% probability that the Fed will begin cutting rates in June, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch Tool.

Investors are now awaiting US core personal consumption expenditure (PCE) price index data due on Friday to see if that could alter the Fed’s projections of three rate cuts for this year.

The index was seen rising 0.3% in February, which would keep the annual pace at 2.8%.

Many markets are closed on Friday for Good Friday when the PCE data is due for release, so the full reaction is expected to be seen next week.

Meanwhile, COMEX gold speculators reduced their net long positions by 2,093 contracts to 157,467 in the week ended March 19, data showed on Friday.

Spot silver gained 0.2% to $24.71 per ounce, platinum rose 1% to $902.60 and palladium climbed 1.4% to $999.79.

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