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Gold holds firm above $1,400 as markets look past robust US data

Gold holds firm above $1,400 as markets look past robust US data

Gold prices rose on Friday as investors shrugged off concerns that stronger-than-expected consumer inflation in the United States could influence the U.S. central bank’s decision on aggressive monetary policy easing.

Spot gold rose 0.9% to $1,415.53 per ounce. U.S. gold futures rose 0.4% to settle at $1412.20 per ounce.

“Inflation data came out a little bit hotter than expected. It seems every day that the probability of rate cut versus keeping rates unchanged is flip-flap. There are uncertainties around that,” said Phillip Streible, senior commodities strategist at RJO Futures.

“If gold closes below $1,400 level on a Friday, (it) could be a blow to the bulls. I see a resistance level of $1,441 if there is enough demand for gold.”

The core U.S. consumer price index, excluding food and energy, rose 0.3% in June, data showed on Thursday, the largest increase since January 2018. The U.S. Federal Reserve had last month downgraded its inflation projection for the year to 1.5% from the 1.8% projected in March.

Bullion rates were quick to slump following the data, shedding nearly 1% in the latter part of its session, with the dollar erasing some losses.

However, the stronger-than-expected reading failed to shake convictions that the Fed will start cutting interest rates at a policy meeting later this month, with money markets still indicating one rate cut at the end of July and a cumulative 64 basis points in cuts by the end of 2019.

Against a basket of currencies, the dollar was lower for a third straight day, down 0.1%.

Market attention will be focused on comments by Chicago Fed President Charles Evans later in the session and New York Fed President John Williams on Monday, which will provide a chance to gauge how dovish the U.S. central bank will be.

Fed policymakers are scheduled to meet on July 30-31, where investors will look for further cues on monetary policy easing.

In the physical market, gold buying stalled in top Asian hubs this week as consumers sold back bullion to cash in on the steep price rally.

A recent import duty hike further dented waning interest in an Indian market hit by a surge in local rates. Source: Reuters

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