Gold steady as US dollar eases, US inflation data in focus

Gold steady as US dollar eases, US inflation data in focus
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BENGALURU (Oct 13): Gold prices held steady on Wednesday, helped by a slight pullback in US dollar, while investors awaited US inflation data to gauge the Federal Reserve's path on normalizing policy.

Spot gold was little changed at US$1,760.26 per ounce by 0305 GMT, while US gold futures rose 0.1% to US$1,760.60.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six rivals, was down 0.2%, easing off from an over one-year high hit on Tuesday.

"We're going to get US CPI data as well as those critical minutes from the September FOMC meeting so I think there is capacity there for gold to get a directional catalyst after this period of consolidation," DailyFX currency strategist Ilya Spivak said.

"If CPI registers hotter, then we are probably looking at expectations that the Fed could need to move faster in raising rates."

The US consumer price inflation data is due at 1230 GMT, while the minutes from Fed's Sept 21-22 policy meeting will be released at 1800 GMT.

Three Fed policymakers said on Tuesday the economy has healed enough for the central bank to begin to withdraw its crisis-era support, cementing expectations the Fed will start tapering as soon as next month.

As inflationary pressures mount worldwide, money markets are charging ahead with pricing aggressive interest rate rises, in most cases betting that policy will be tightened far sooner and at a much faster pace than rate-setters are signalling.

Reduced central bank stimulus and interest rate hikes tend to push government bond yields up, translating into a higher opportunity cost for holding gold that pays no interest.

Among other precious metals, spot silver rose 0.2% to US$22.57 per ounce, while platinum and palladium were down 0.2% at US$1,005.00 and US$2,041.24, respectively.