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Gold prices steady as dollar drifts lower amid inflation watch

Investing.com-- Gold prices steadied in Asian trade on Tuesday, seeing some relief from a mildly weaker dollar as traders braced for a swathe of key inflation readings this week, most notably from the U.S.

The yellow metal recouped some of last week’s losses, but still remained well below recent record highs as waning safe haven demand and increased fears of high U.S. interest rates saw traders pivot into the dollar and Treasuries.

But the greenback fell slightly in low-volume trade, on account of the Memorial Day holiday on Monday.

Spot gold steadied at $2,351.03 an ounce, while gold futures expiring in June steadied at $2,352.10 an ounce by 23:51 ET (03:1 GMT). Spot gold had hit a record high of about $2,450 an ounce last week.

Gold steadies as PCE inflation test looms

Traders remained cautious over the yellow metal, ahead of key PCE price index data due this Friday. The data is the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge, and is likely to factor into the outlook for interest rate cuts.

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The reading also comes after a string of Fed officials warned that sticky inflation will delay any potential rate cuts this year. This saw traders begin pricing in a greater chance that the Fed will hold rates in September, compared to earlier expectations for a 25 basis point cut.

This notion also dragged gold prices off record highs last week, as traders turned more biased towards the greenback.

Before Friday’s PCE data, inflation readings from Australia, Japan and Germany are also on tap this week.

Other precious metals advanced slightly on Tuesday. Platinum futures rose 0.2% to $1,066.95 an ounce, while silver futures rose 0.3% to $31.950 an ounce.

Copper prices advance, more China cues awaited

Among industrial metals, copper prices rose against a softer dollar, with focus turning mainly towards upcoming data from top importer China, due later this week.

Benchmark copper futures on the London Metal Exchange jumped nearly 2% to $10,532.50 a tonne, while one-month copper futures rose 0.3% to $4.8244 a pound.

Both contracts remained well below recent record highs. But they were also sitting on stellar gains through May, on the back of a speculative frenzy fueled by expectations of strong copper demand and sluggish supplies.

Focus this week is on key purchasing managers index data from China, due this Friday, for more cues on business activity in the world’s biggest copper importer.

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