Gold dips as dollar strengthens

Bengaluru — Gold prices edged lower on Tuesday, weighed down by an uptick in the dollar, while investors cautiously awaited US economic data due later this week to gauge inflationary pressure and the Federal Reserve’s steer on monetary policy.

Spot gold was down 0.2% at $1,895.59 an ounce at 3.15am GMT. US gold futures were steady at $1,898.60. The dollar index rose 0.1% against its rivals, making gold more expensive for other currency holders.

“Inflation has been on the rise in recent weeks, and traders are awaiting confirmation from the US data this week on continuous strengthening in the price levels,” Margaret Yang, a strategist at DailyFX, said.

“This [US data] is expected to have a mixed effect on gold. On the positive side, gold is perceived as an inflation hedge, so the higher the number the more appealing gold will be,” Yang said, adding that an acceleration in inflation will, however, raise concerns about Fed tapering.

A weaker-than-expected US jobs report last week has quelled expectations of an early tapering in the Fed’s stimulus.

Focus has shifted to the US consumer price report due later this week where the risk is of another high number, though Fed officials have said repeatedly they expect price pressures to be transitory. Also on the radar, the European Central Bank is expected to hold its policy meeting on Thursday.

“Gold will struggle to maintain gains above $1,900 an ounce until the US inflation data is out of the way,” Jeffrey Halley, Oanda senior market analyst, said in a note. “Thus I expect gold to jump around in a choppy $1,860 to $1,900 range this week, with last week’s high at $1,917 an ounce unlikely to be retested this week.”

Elsewhere, silver fell 0.3% to $27.79 an ounce, palladium was steady at $2,834.26, and platinum slipped 0.4% to $1,167.67.