Thursday 22 Feb 2024
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(Jan 30): Gold prices were in a tight range on Tuesday as traders awaited the US central bank's decision on key policy rates and remarks from chair Jerome Powell.

Spot gold held its ground at US$2,034.67 per ounce by 0633 GMT.

US gold futures rose 0.4% to US$2,033.50.

Traders are waiting for the US Federal Reserve's policy outlook and key jobs data this week, and that is consolidating gold prices, but prices can be expected to edge slightly on the positive side on Tuesday due to geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, said Ajay Kedia, director at Kedia Commodities in Mumbai.

Markets widely expect the Fed to stand pat on rates at its two-day policy meeting that starts later in the day, but attention will largely be on comments from Powell on Wednesday.

Traders are betting on five quarter-point rate cuts for 2024 in the United States, with the first of those arriving at a coin flip chance in March, according to LSEG's interest rate probability app IRPR.

A Reuters poll showed on Monday that uncertainty about the economy and US interest rate cuts could drive record gold prices in 2024.

Lower interest rates decrease the opportunity cost of holding bullion.

The dollar index weakened 0.1%, which generally makes gold more attractive to other currency holders. Yields on the benchmark US Treasury note hit a two-week low of 4.0430%.

Spot silver was steady at US$23.20 per ounce.

Analysts and traders have downgraded their price forecasts for platinum and palladium in 2024 as demand struggles to rise significantly, but they still expect prices for both to rebound from current levels.

Spot platinum fell 0.1% to US$925.78 an ounce, while palladium dropped 0.3% to US$980.70.

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