Gold firms as dollar eases

Gold eked out gains on Wednesday due to a lower dollar, as investors awaited a deluge of economic news in the US this week for more clues on the pace and scale of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate cuts.

Spot gold edged up 0.1% to $2,030.01 per ounce by 10.26 GMT. US gold futures rose 0.28% to $2,031.30.

The dollar slipped 0.5% against its rivals, after hitting its highest since December 13 on Tuesday, while the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield also edged lower but remained above 4%.

“I think gold holding above that kind of psychological threshold of $2,000 is a sign of traders’ ongoing belief that rate cuts are coming soon and they will be quite aggressive when they do start,” said Craig Erlam, senior markets analyst at Oanda.

Investors are now focusing on the US flash PMI survey, which is scheduled at 1445 GMT, fourth-quarter advance GDP estimates on Thursday, and personal consumption expenditure data on Friday.

“I think if the PCE data on Friday is higher I wouldn’t be surprised if gold breaks the $2,000 range and if the data is in line or lower, then gold could hold above $2,000 for a little bit longer,” Erlam said.

A strong US economy and pushback from central bank officials is leading some investors to rethink their bets on how quickly the Fed will cut rates this year.

According to the CME’s FedWatch Tool, markets expect the US central bank will keep interest rates unchanged at the end of its policy meeting on January 30-31 and have pushed back the time frame of the first interest rate cut.

Lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

Spot silver rose 1.3% to $22.71 per ounce, platinum was up 0.8% to $907.26, and palladium rose 1.6% to $963.31.