Metals

Gold hemmed in tight range on Fed caution

A gold bar is wrapped in a financial newspaper.
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Gold prices were stuck in a tight range on Monday, as bets of more interest rate hikes from the U.S. Federal Reserve dimmed the outlook for non-yielding bullion and boosted the dollar.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,842.40 per ounce, as of 0347 GMT, after falling to its lowest since late December in the previous session. U.S. gold futures edged up 0.1% to $1,851.30.

Higher interest rates discourage investment in non-yielding gold, although it is considered a hedge against soaring prices.

"Recent positive economic data and comments from the Fed are likely to restrict traders from taking big bets on gold on expectations of further rate hikes," said Hareesh V, head of commodity research at Geojit Financial Services. "Gold may trade lackluster inside a tight range in the immediate run."

Recent economic data showed signs of a resilient U.S. economy, higher consumer prices, a rebound in producer prices and a tight labor market, sparking concerns that the Fed would keep interest rates higher for longer.

Several Fed officials last week signaled that more rate hikes were needed to bring inflation down to the central bank's 2% target.

Investors are now awaiting the minutes of the Fed's latest policy meeting due to be released on Wednesday. Money markets are expecting the U.S. central bank to raise benchmark rates above 5% by May, with a peak in rates seen at 5.3% in July.

The dollar index firmed 0.1%, making greenback-priced bullion less attractive for buyers holding other currencies.

Investor attention will also be on the Fed's preferred inflation measure, the U.S. personal consumption expenditures data for January, due later this week for cues on inflation.

Spot silver was unchanged at $21.72 per ounce, platinum edged 0.2% higher to $918.29 and palladium rose 0.4% to $1,504.71.

Market activity could be relatively low on Monday due to a holiday in the United States.