PRECIOUS-Gold gains momentum as dollar slips, U.S. data in focus

BY Reuters | ECONOMIC | 02/09/23 03:59 AM EST


Spot gold neutral in $1,861-$1,884 range - technicals


U.S. weekly jobless claims data due at 1330 GMT


U.S. CPI data next week also keenly awaited

(Updates prices)

By Ashitha Shivaprasad

Feb 9 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Thursday, helped by a pullback in the dollar, although prices are expected to be range-bound as traders await economic data for cues on the U.S. Federal Reserve's rate-hike path.

Spot gold was up 0.4% at $1,882.14 per ounce, as of 1029 GMT. U.S. gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,881.00.

The dollar index fell 0.4% against its rivals. A weaker greenback tends to make dollar-priced bullion an attractive bet.

"The gold market is in a consolidation mode and will remain range-bound ahead of next week's inflation data. Also, Fed Chair Jerome Powell's comments that were less hawkish is making gold slightly attractive," Ajay Kedia, director at Kedia Commodities in Mumbai, said.

"If inflation continues to rise, it will point to the fact that the pause in rate hikes might take longer, which will pressure gold."

Market participants await the U.S. consumer prices index (CPI) data next week that could offer further clues on the Fed's policy path. Weekly U.S. jobless claims data due at 1330 GMT is also in focus.

Powell provided fuel for both sides of the argument on Tuesday, saying rates might need to move higher if the U.S. economy remained strong, but he reiterated "disinflation" was underway.

A few Fed officials on Wednesday said more interest rate rises were likely.

Gold is extremely sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, as these increase the opportunity cost of holding the non-yielding asset.

Spot gold looks neutral in a range of $1,861 to $1,884 per ounce, and an escape could suggest a direction, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said.

Spot silver gained 0.6% at $22.44 per ounce, platinum rose 0.4% to $973.44 and palladium edged 0.1% higher to $1,650.40. (Reporting by Ashitha Shivaprasad in Bengaluru; Editing by Barbara Lewis and Shounak Dasgupta)

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