Gold rangebound as market focus turns to Fed meeting

Gold rangebound as market focus turns to Fed meeting
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BENGALURU (Jan 30): Gold prices traded in a relatively tight range on Monday (Jan 30), while market participants globally awaited a slew of central bank meetings with the main focus on the US Federal Reserve.

Spot gold edged 0.2% higher to US$1,931.07 per ounce, as of 0717 GMT. US gold futures were up 0.1% at US$1,930.50.

At the end of the Fed's Jan 31-Feb 1 meeting, traders are broadly expecting the US central bank to scale back its rate hikes to 25 basis points (bps) from 50 bps in December.

"Gold prices are currently consolidating into a range ahead of the Fed meet. The main focus will be on the tone that Fed Chair Jerome Powell will strike in his speech," said Ilya Spivak, head of global macro at Tastylive.

Gold, being a non-yielding asset, tends to benefit when interest rates are low as it reduces the opportunity cost of holding bullion.

Data on Friday showed that US consumer spending fell in December, while inflation continued to subside, which could give the Fed room to further slow the pace of its rate hikes.

The European Central Bank and the Bank of England are also having policy meetings this week.

Spot gold may break a support at US$1,919 and fall into a range of US$1,883 to US$1,905 per ounce, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

The current wave of Covid-19 infections in top bullion consumer China is nearing an end, and there was no significant rebound in cases during the Lunar New Year holidays, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said in its latest weekly update.

As the Chinese economy continues to open up, there will be greater industry and luxury demand for gold, said Clifford Bennett, chief economist at ACY Securities.

Spot silver gained 0.8% to US$23.74 per ounce, platinum rose 0.1% to US$1,013.40, and palladium climbed 1.3% to US$1,639.90.