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Gold treads water amid Fed uncertainty, copper extends rebound

Investing.com -- Gold prices moved little on Wednesday as markets hunkered down ahead of an upcoming Federal Reserve meeting, while copper prices extended a rebound from six-month lows.

The yellow metal saw some support this week as weak U.S. economic data pulled down the dollar and spurred some bets that the Fed will lack the headroom to keep raising interest rates.

But this support was limited as the dollar recovered amid uncertainty over the Fed’s next move. While some facets of the U.S. economy appeared to be cooling, inflation and the labor market were still running hot, putting more pressure on the central bank to tighten policy.

Even if the Fed pauses its current rate hike cycle, it is expected to keep interest rates higher for longer - a scenario that bodes poorly for non-yielding assets such as gold.

Fed Fund futures prices show that markets are pricing in a nearly 82% chance the Fed will hold rates steady next week.

Spot gold was flat at $1,963.51 an ounce, while gold futures fell 0.1% to $1,979.65 an ounce by 20:03 ET (00:03 GMT). Both instruments moved little in the prior session, after recovering from more than two-month lows hit last month.

The yellow metal has seen limited safe haven demand over the past month, even as a string of weak data releases battered appetite for risk-driven assets. But a U.S. and European recession this year may eventually spruce up gold demand.

Economic indicators from other major economies are on tap this week, starting with first quarter GDP data from Australia and Japan. Chinese trade and inflation data is also due this week.

Other precious metals rose slightly on Wednesday. Platinum futures rose 0.3%, extending a recovery from near two-month lows, while silver futures rose 0.1%.

Among industrial metals, copper prices continued to push higher after reaching an apparent bottom of six-month lows in May. The red metal was also encouraged by some positive economic data from China.

Copper futures rose 0.2% to $3.7757 a pound, after adding more than 1% in the prior session.

Focus is now squarely on Chinese trade data due later in the day, for more cues on commodity demand in the world’s largest copper importer. Chinese commodity imports had slumped in April as a post-COVID economic recovery ran out of steam, which in turn fueled doubts over strong commodity demand this year.

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