Gold prices were little changed on Tuesday, with the market lacking overall direction as participants mulled upcoming economic data for release this week.
Gold traded in a fairly tight range of $2,027 to $2,039 an ounce on Tuesday in relatively calm conditions, compared with a wider range of $2,019 to $2,046 an ounce on Monday.
The markets have been watching for further signals on monetary policy from the major economies’ central banks.
The Euro Area unemployment rate came broadly in line with expectations at 6.4% for November, according to figures released Tuesday. The ECB raised interest rates through 2023, which has been successful in bringing inflation down nearer towards its target through the year, but the bank has held rates steady at 4.5% since October.
Traders will also be looking ahead to Thursday’s US core inflation data for December, to get a handle on the US Fed’s likely path for interest rates in the coming months. Data from interest rate traders on Tuesday indicated a 61% probability of a 25 basis point cut in rates at the US Fed’s meeting on March 20, down from almost 90% a week ago, according to the CME FedWatch Tool: CME FedWatch Tool – CME Group
Recent economic data has pointed to more healthy conditions in the US economy, providing greater leeway in maintaining higher rates for longer. Higher interest rates are bearish for gold because they raise the opportunity cost of holding non-interest-bearing assets like precious metals.
Frank’s experience covering the commodities markets spans 22 years, with a particular specialism in metals, carbon and energy markets. He has worked as a senior editor for S&P Global Commodity Insights (formerly Platts) and before this, at ICIS-LOR, a part of Reed Business Information (Reed Elsevier), where he covered the petrochemicals markets from 2003 to 2005.
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