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Gold price steadies near record high as US inflation data looms

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Gold wavered after eight consecutive days of gains as traders eye Tuesday’s consumer price index release for hints on when the US Federal Reserve may start to cut interest rates.

Bullion for immediate delivery traded in a narrow range on Monday after rallying almost 5% last week, setting a nominal high on four successive days. Gains on Friday were supported by US data showing the jobless rate at a two-year high, which helped push the dollar and 10-year Treasury yields lower.

Gold has spiked in March, with the move taking some investors by surprise given there’s been no major change in the outlook for when the Fed would start cutting. In congressional testimony last week, Chair Jerome Powell emphasized the central bank needs “just a bit more evidence” inflation is headed toward its 2% target before lowering borrowing costs. Fellow policymakers have made similar remarks.

A test of gold bulls’ optimism will come this week with fresh US inflation data due for release on Tuesday. A hotter-than-expected reading — as happened last month — would be a setback for further gains in the precious metal, which doesn’t offer a yield and benefits from a lower-rate environment.

Spot gold was up 0.1% to $2,182.05 a ounce at 11:16 a.m. in New York after a high last week of $2,195.15. Silver, platinum and palladium all advanced.

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