Gold gains as dollar dips; focus on U.S. inflation data, Fed

·2-min read
Gold bars are pictured on display at Korea Gold Exchange in Seoul

By Arpan Varghese

(Reuters) - Gold held on to gains as the dollar slid on Monday, with investors awaiting U.S. inflation data later this week for clarity on when the Federal Reserve might start tapering economic support measures.

Spot gold rose 0.3% to $1,895.77 per ounce by 01:42 p.m. EDT (1742 GMT). U.S. gold futures settled up 0.4% at $1,898.80.

Gold rose over 1% on Friday after a weaker-than-expected U.S. monthly jobs report calmed fears about the Fed reining in monetary stimulus in the near future.

While gold is pretty bullish, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen's comments are keeping a lid on prices, said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.

Yellen said on Sunday that President Joe Biden's $4 trillion spending plan would be good for the United States even if it contributes to rising inflation and results in higher interest rates, Bloomberg News reported.

"The big thing people are waiting for is the Fed's plan is on easing and also on (interest) rates," and if the Fed remains quiet over the next week or two ... you could see a move north of $1,900," RJO's Haberkorn said. Failure to break above $1,900 could push it down, dependent on the Fed's stance, he added.

The dollar index was down 0.2%, boosting bullion's appeal for those holding other currencies.

Inflation will remain in focus, with the U.S. consumer price index report due on Thursday, and central bank meetings scheduled in Europe and Canada.

Longer to medium term, "we might see more volatility on equity markets, which will be increasing the value of gold as a safe haven (and) as inflation protection," Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg said.

Silver rose 0.4% to $27.88 per ounce, and palladium shed 0.3% to $2,837.22, while platinum advanced 0.7% to $1,170.00.

"With the (palladium) market predicted to be in deficit this year the price is expected to remain historically high," Heraeus Precious Metals said in a note.

(Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Nishara Karuvalli Pathikkal and Arundhati Sarkar; Editing by Richard Chang and Steve Orlofsky)

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