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Gold prices slip as the dollar gain, market anticipates rate hike

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Gold prices eased on Monday as the U.S. dollar held firm, with cautious traders awaiting the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike decision later this week.

Spot gold fell 0.5 percent to $1,980.78 per ounce by 0759 GMT. U.S. gold futures shed 0.5 percent to $1,989.20.

The dollar index rose 0.2 percent, making greenback-priced bullion more expensive for overseas buyers.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will meet on May 2–3, and investors are largely expecting a 25-basis-point interest rate hike.

“If the Fed comes out unexpectedly hawkish, then it won’t bode well for gold.” “However, I don’t think prices will fall below the $1,930 level,” said Ilya Spivak, head of global macro at Tastylive.

Data on Friday highlighted that U.S. consumer spending was unchanged in March while underlying inflation pressures remained strong, which could see the U.S. central bank raise interest rates.

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Bullion is known as an inflation hedge, but rising rates tend to dull the zero-yielding asset’s appeal.

Gold prices rose more than 1 percent in April as renewed concerns over turmoil in the U.S. banking sector enhanced its safe-haven appeal for investors.

“If we see a meaningful downturn in U.S. economic data that expands rate cut expectations for the back half of this year, then gold prices could climb above the $2,000 mark,” Spivak added.

Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase & Co. said on Monday that it had acquired a substantial majority of the assets and assumed certain liabilities of First Republic Bank.

Top bullion consumer China’s manufacturing activity unexpectedly shrank in April, official data showed on Sunday, raising pressure on policymakers seeking to boost an economy struggling for a post-COVID lift-off.

Among other precious metals, spot silver rose 0.3 percent to $25.11 per ounce, while platinum fell 0.6 percent to $1,067.41.

Palladium dropped 0.4 percent to $1,494.88.

Many Asian and European markets were closed on Monday for the May Day holiday.

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