Gold on track for weekly fall amid strong US economy

Bengaluru — Gold prices were set for their second consecutive weekly fall on the face of a resilient US economy that kept the dollar near multi-week highs, while the focus shifted to a key inflation print due later in the day.

Spot gold was little changed at $2,021.28/oz by 4.15am GMT. US gold futures rose 0.2% to $2,021.20. Both have lost 0.4% so far this week.

The US economy is still resilient and that is capping gold strength, along with the fact that expectations for the first rate cut have been pushed further down the calendar this year, said Kelvin Wong, a senior market analyst for Asia Pacific at Oanda.

The US economy grew faster than expected in the fourth quarter as inflationary pressures subsided amid strong consumer spending, official data showed, echoing indications that the economy kicked off 2024 on a strong note, according to an S&P Global report earlier this week.

Bullion, however, trimmed its weekly losses by gaining 0.4% on Thursday, as treasury yields dropped on abating inflationary pressures.

The dollar index rose 0.2% for the week, hovering near a six-week high, making bullion less attractive to other currency holders.

Markets widely expect the US Federal Reserve to stand pat on rates at its policy meeting on January 30-31, but attention will largely be on comments from chair Jerome Powell.

Traders have deferred their first rate cut expectation and are now pricing in a 93% chance for a May cut, according to LSEG’s interest rate probability app IRPR.

Focus now shifts to the Fed’s favourite inflation gauge — the personal consumption expenditure data — due at 1.30pm GMT.

Lower interest rates decrease the opportunity cost of holding bullion.

Spot silver fell 0.2% to $22.87/oz, platinum was steady at $891.90 and palladium dropped 0.5% to $935.89.