By Ambar Warrick
Investing.com — Gold prices were muted on Monday, hovering around a two-month low amid concerns over high U.S. inflation and a hawkish response from the Federal Reserve, while other metal prices kept to tight ranges.
Bullion prices tumbled last week after a series of hawkish signals from the Fed. Prices fell particularly hard on Friday after data showed that the Personal Consumption Expenditures index – the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge – remained elevated through January, giving the central bank more impetus to keep hiking rates.
Broader metal markets were also nursing steep losses from the prior week, given that rising interest rates and a strong dollar take the sheen off non-yielding assets.
Spot gold was flat at $1,811.37 an ounce, while gold futures hovered around $1,818.00 an ounce by 19:08 ET (00:08 GMT). Both instruments were at their lowest level since late-December. Spot gold was also close to sinking below the key $1,800 support level, a breach of which could spell more near-term losses.
The dollar hovered around a seven-week high against a basket of currencies, while 10-year Treasury yields were now eyeing a move past the 4% level – and were at their highest point since early-November.
Stickier-than-expected U.S. inflation saw metal markets reverse most of a new-year rally, as traders feared a bigger opportunity cost in holding non-yielding assets. Metal prices had weakened through most of 2022 on this notion, as the Fed began hiking rates aggressively.
Other precious metals were mixed on Monday. Platinum futures rose 0.5% to $912.65 an ounce, while silver futures fell 0.2% to $20.895 an ounce.
Among industrial metals, copper prices rose slightly after plummeting past key levels last week. Concerns over an ensuing economic slowdown caused by tighter monetary policy largely offset bets on a recovery in Chinese copper demand this year.
Copper futures rose 0.4% to $3.9725, recovering from their weakest level since early-January. But the red metal was once again trading below the key $4 level.
Mixed economic readings from China, the world’s largest copper importer, saw markets trim their bets on an immediate economic recovery in the country, even as it relaxed most anti-COVID restrictions earlier this year.