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Gold hits new record high on Fed rate cut bets

Gold hit a new high of $2,256.44
Gold hit a new high of $2,256.44 - Copyright AFP/File DAVID GRAY
Gold hit a new high of $2,256.44 - Copyright AFP/File DAVID GRAY

Gold hit another fresh record high Monday as investors grow confident that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates this year, even after data showed a slight uptick in a key inflation report.

The precious metal has enjoyed healthy buying interest this year as the US central bank hints at an easing of credit conditions.

On Monday it hit a new high of $2,256.44, according to Bloomberg News.

On Friday the closely watched personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index — the Fed’s preferred gauge of inflation — showed a small on-year rise in March compared with February, though the core reading eased slightly.

Powell said the report was “pretty much in line with our expectations” and decision-makers were on track to hit their long-term inflation target of two percent.

He said that while the recent inflation data was higher than the Fed would have liked, the February figures were “definitely more along the lines of what we want to see”.

The data appeared to have little impact on traders’ expectations for a June interest rate cut, though Powell warned they were unlikely to fall to the levels seen after the 2008 global financial crisis.

Adding to the upward pressure on prices is its demand as a safe haven in times of turmoil owing to growing geopolitical tensions, with concerns that Israel’s war on Hamas in Gaza will spread further.

An air strike in Lebanon Sunday stoked further tensions, with Israel saying a Hezbollah missile unit commander had been “eliminated”.

Israel and the Iran-backed group have been exchanging near-daily cross-border fire for months.

Meanwhile, traders are also keeping a close eye on developments in the long-running Ukraine conflict.

Because bullion does not generate any interest, it benefits when central banks lower borrowing costs as its safe-haven status makes it more attractive to investors.

AFP
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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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