Gold prices fell on Thursday after the US Federal Reserve in its most recent policy meeting scaled back to only one interest rate cut later this year, fewer than previously projected, even as inflation cooled in May.

Spot gold was down 0.4% at $2,313.92 per ounce, as of 0340 GMT.

US gold futures fell 1.1% to $2,329.50.

“While the tamer consumer price index print was a net positive for gold, the takeaway from the Fed meeting was that the number of rate cuts in 2024 have been reduced and are still some distance down the road,” said Tim Waterer, chief market analyst at KCM Trade.

“In the short term, I expect gold could be trading in choppy fashion until we get greater clarity on when that first rate cut from the Fed may arrive.”

The Fed held interest rates steady on Wednesday and pushed out the start of rate cuts to perhaps as late as December with policymakers citing still elevated levels of inflation.

Policymakers in their December 2023 forecasts had envisioned an imminent kickoff to three years of steady rate reductions.

Inflation data published hours before Fed statement showed the consumer price index (CPI) rose not at all on a month-to-month basis in May, causing some analysts to argue the latest projections were already “stale.”

Gold prices gain

Last week’s strong US jobs data and reports of China’s central bank holding off gold purchases triggered bullion’s biggest daily drop since November 2020 last week.

Gold’s lightning rally to successive record highs shows every sign of continuing in the second half of 2024 as the fundamental case for bullion remains firmly in place, though $3,000 per ounce looks just out of reach, traders and industry experts said.

In other metals, spot silver fell 1.9% to $29.12 per ounce, platinum was down 1.8% at $946.70 and palladium lost 1.2% to $895.57.

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