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Gold prices weak as rate fears mount ahead of Fed, CPI data

Published 10/06/2024, 06:08
© Reuters.

Investing.com-- Gold prices moved in a flat-to-low range in Asian trade on Monday, nursing steep losses from last week as fears of high U.S. interest rates mounted before a Federal Reserve meeting and key inflation data due this week.

The yellow metal had tumbled from near record highs last week after nonfarm payrolls data on Friday read much higher than expected, which caused traders to rethink expectations for a September rate cut.

Spot gold rose 0.1% to $2,295.7 an ounce, while gold futures expiring in August fell 0.6% to $2,312.30 an ounce by 00:44 ET (04:44 GMT). 

Gold traders on edge with Fed meeting, CPI data on tap

Markets were focused squarely on an upcoming Fed meeting, with a rate decision due on Wednesday. 

The central bank is widely expected to keep rates steady. But any cues on future policy will be closely watched, especially following recent signs of resilience in U.S. inflation and the labor market. 

A slew of Fed officials had warned that the central bank will keep rates high for longer in the face of sticky inflation and labor market strength. Strong nonfarm payrolls data on Friday furthered this notion.

Before Wednesday’s Fed decision, key consumer price index inflation data is also on tap this week, and is expected to show inflation remained well above the Fed’s 2% annual target in May. 

Gold and other metal prices were battered by a sharp decrease in positioning for a September rate cut on Friday. This trend is set to continue in the coming days.

The yellow metal was also hit by reports that the People’s Bank of China- a key buyer of bullion- had sharply reduced its buying activities in May.  

Other precious metals rose on Monday, recovering from last week’s tumble. Platinum futures rose 0.7% to $977.05 an ounce, while silver futures rose 0.9% to $29.690 an ounce.

A rebound in the dollar, on the lessened prospect of rate cuts, weighed on broader metal prices. 

Copper nurses steep losses amid rate fears, China uncertainty 

Among industrial metals, copper prices were nursing steep losses from last week, hit by a mix of Fed fears and as optimism over top importer China cooled. 

Benchmark copper futures on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.2% to $9,779.50 a tonne, while one-month copper futures rose 0.6% to $4.4735 a pound. 

Both contracts were nursing a sharp decline from record highs hit in May, as optimism over strong demand was largely offset by fears that high rates will stymie global economic activity, denting copper demand. 

Mixed economic signals from China added to concerns over demand. While import data showed copper demand in the country remained strong, other readings presented a mixed picture of the economy.


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