Global gold prices inch up as inflation concerns drive hedging
Gold prices edged up on Thursday as the dollar weakened and investors banked on the bullion as a hedge against inflation after data showed a rise in US consumer prices.
Spot gold was up 0.3% at $1,354.34 an ounce as of 1.15pm and headed for a fourth straight session of gains. It hit its highest since 26 January at $1,355.50 on Wednesday, and has gained nearly 4% since it dropped to a one-month low last week.
US gold futures were down 0.1% at $1,356.8 per ounce on Thursday.
“Higher US inflation combined with the US dollar exhibiting zero correlation to higher interest rates amidst burdening duel deficits (trade and budget) should play out favourably for gold markets,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading APAC at OANDA said.
The dollar index against a basket of currencies was down 0.5% at 88.660, after earlier hitting a near two-week low of 88.585. A recovery in broader risk sentiment was also seen weighing on the dollar, which had gained during the market turmoil earlier this month.
The US currency has been hit by a variety of setbacks this year, including from prospects Washington might pursue a weak dollar strategy to the perceived erosion of its yield advantage as other countries part with easier monetary policy. Concerns about the growing US fiscal deficit have also weighed on the greenback.
The US Labor Department said its Consumer Price Index increased 0.5% in January as households paid more for gasoline, rental accommodation and healthcare, raising pressure on new Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell to prevent a possible overheating of the economy.
Inflation fears boost gold, which is seen as a safe haven against rising prices. But expectations that the Fed will raise interest rates to fight inflation make gold less attractive since it is not interest-yielding.
“Gold’s technicals have improved dramatically in light of Wednesday’s surge and could draw further fund buying,” said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir.
Spot gold is expected to break a resistance at $1,357 per ounce and rise to the next resistance at $1,372, driven by a wave C, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
Among other precious metals, silver was up 0.3% at $16.92 an ounce after earlier hitting a more than one-week high of $16.94. Palladium was 1.2% higher at $1,011.47, after earlier hitting a one-week top of $1,013.30. Platinum was up 0.3% at $999.49, after earlier hitting $1,003.90, its highest in nearly two weeks. Reuters
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