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Gold eases but set for fifth straight weekly rise on Fed slowdown bets

  • Recession worries likely to support gold-analyst
  • Platinum, palladium bound for second consecutive weekly dip

Jan 20 (Reuters) – Gold eased on Friday as the dollar firmed, but was on track to notch up a fifth consecutive weekly gain as hopes of slower U.S. interest rate hikes boosted bullion’s appeal.

Spot gold fell 0.4% to $1,924.18 per ounce as of 0517 GMT. But prices were still bound for a 0.2% weekly gain, after scaling their highest since April 2022 on Thursday.

U.S. gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,925.30.

The dollar index gained 0.1%, making bullion more expensive for most investors.

A Reuters poll predicted the U.S. Federal Reserve will end its tightening cycle after a 25-basis-point hike at each of its next two policy meetings and then likely hold rates steady for at least the rest of the year.

“Gold is a touch softer but is still trading near recent highs. Fed policy calibration thematic amid signs of more entrenched disinflation pressures is a key factor underpinning gold strength,” OCBC FX strategist Christopher Wong said.

Data on Wednesday showed that U.S. producer prices fell more than expected in December, offering evidence that inflation was receding and in turn, giving ammunition to bets that the Fed may slow rate hikes.

“It is possible for gold to hit $2,000 this year, but for that we need to see a down shift in hawkish tone from the Fed to confirm current market rate hike expectations,” said IG Market strategist Yeap Jun Rong.

With lower rates translating into lesser returns on interest-bearing assets like government bonds, investors may prefer zero-yield gold.

“There are signals that show that the U.S. is probably heading to a recession, this will favour gold,” said Brian Lan, managing director at Singapore-based dealer GoldSilver Central.

Silver slipped 0.1% to $23.80.

Platinum fell 0.3% to $1,029.75 and palladium lost 0.6% to $1,743.86. Both metals headed for a second straight week of declines.

Reporting by Ashitha Shivaprasad in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Eileen Soreng

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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