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Gold ticks up as investors await central bank meetings


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Gold prices edged up on Monday on a weaker dollar, as investor attention moved to several central bank meetings this week for more clarity on their rate hike strategies, with the key focus on the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Spot gold gained 0.1% to $1,928.36 per ounce by 1119 GMT. U.S. gold futures were steady at $1,929.70.

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“Gold is easing away from a nine-month high as the U.S. dollar and yields stabilize, as markets eagerly await the Fed’s latest policy guidance,” said Han Tan, chief market analyst at Exinity.

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The dollar was 0.2% lower, making bullion, which is priced in the U.S. currency, more attractive for customers holding other currencies.

Market participants widely expect a 25-basis-point (bps) interest rate increase from the U.S. central bank at the end of its two-day policy meeting on Feb. 1.

Expectations are for a slowdown in Fed rate hikes after economic data showed signs of cooling U.S. inflation, while U.S. consumer spending fell for a second-straight month in December, putting the economy on a lower growth path heading into 2023.

Gold, which pays no interest, tends to benefit when interest rates are low as it reduces the opportunity cost of holding bullion.

“However, if U.S. economic growth momentum remains defiant in the face of the Fed’s demand-destroying rate hikes, that may force policymakers to keep its foot on the rate-hike pedal,” Tan said.

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“Such ultra-hawkish policy signals this week may prompt the unwinding of some of gold’s year-to-date gains.”

Investors are pricing in a 50 bps rate hike from the Bank of England and the European Central Bank, which also have policy meetings this week.

Meanwhile, as the Chinese economy continues to open up, there will be greater industry and luxury demand for gold, said Clifford Bennett, chief economist at ACY Securities.

Spot silver rose 0.6% to $23.70 per ounce, platinum was down 0.1% to $1,011.29, while palladium was up 0.3% to $1,623.27. (Reporting by Kavya Guduru and Ashitha Shivaprasad in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Seher Dareen; Editing by Christina Fincher and Sharon Singleton)


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