Metals Stocks: Gold prices retreat as investors await Tuesday’s U.S. inflation report


Gold prices traded marginally lower on Monday after falling for a second-straight week as expectations that the Federal Reserve might push interest rates even higher have weighed on the yellow metal while boosting Treasury yields and the U.S. dollar.

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Gold prices rose for three straight months through the end of January, climbing by more than 17%, according to FactSet data.

But the rally, which also benefited prices of other precious metals like silver, came to a halt earlier this month as robust January economic data, including the Department of Labor’s monthly report on the U.S. labor market and the ISM survey on services-sector activity, spurred a recalibration of interest-rate expectations.

Investors are coming around to the notion that the Federal Reserve will push rates north of 5% in the coming months, then keep them elevated until at least 2024. Some are betting that rates could move even higher, perhaps to 6% or beyond.

Fed policymakers, including Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, have contributed to these expectations by insisting that rates still have further to rise, and that the central bank still has a ways to go in its battle against inflation.

Traders hoping for gold to once again break the $1,900 per ounce level are hoping that Tuesday’s U.S. inflation report will once again show price pressures waning more quickly than economists had expected.

“For now, gold investors will be hoping that this week’s U.S. inflation data positively surprises to once again give the U.S. central bank room to hit pause on more hikes,” said Rupert Rowling, a market analyst at Kinesis Money.

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