Gold hardly changed ahead of US CPI data

Bengaluru — Gold prices were little changed on Tuesday, as investors held back from making big bets ahead of a US inflation report that could give a new perspective on the timing of the Federal Reserve’s first rate cut.

Spot gold was flat at $2,018.71/oz at 4.24am GMT, after briefly slipping to a more than two-week low of $2,011.72/oz on Monday.

US gold futures were almost unchanged at $2,032.30/oz.

“Trading in gold has been fairly steady today but with a mild downside bias, perhaps because key US economic indicators have tended to beat on the upside in recent months,” said Tim Waterer, chief market analyst at KCM Trade.

Trading volume is expected to be thin, with markets in China and Hong Kong closed for the Lunar New Year holidays.

Spot gold may retest support of $2,012/oz, a break below which could open the way towards $2,002/oz, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

All eyes are on the January US consumer price index (CPI) data due at 1:30pm GMT. Americans reported a fairly stable outlook for inflation at the start of the year, a New York Fed survey showed.

Economists polled by Reuters see year-on-year CPI at 2.9% in January, down from 3.4% in December, and think core CPI also slowed to 3.7%, from 3.9% in the previous month.

“A soft CPI print could cause the US dollar and bond yields to lose momentum, which could see gold make a run higher,” said Waterer.

Traders are pricing in four quarter-point rate cuts by the US central bank this year, with a 62% chance of the first one arriving in May, according to LSEG’s Interest Rate Probability app.

Spot platinum was flat at $888.89/oz, palladium rose 1.5% to $905.71, and silver edged 0.1% higher to $22.71.