Gold heads for monthly gain on hopes for an end to rate-hike cycle

Singapore, July 31 (BNA):  Gold prices were bound for their biggest monthly gain in four on Monday as expectations grew that major global central banks may be nearing the end of current monetary policy tightening cycles.

 

Spot gold was down 0.2% at $1,954.79 per ounce by 0431 GMT, while U.S. gold futures slipped 0.4% to $1,953.80 per ounce, reports Reuters. 


Gold prices were set to end the month about 1.8% higher, the most since March, as expectations that U.S. interest rates could be nearing their peak put the dollar on track for its second straight monthly decline. 



Data on Friday showed annual U.S. inflation rose at its slowest pace in more than two years in June, cementing expectations that the Federal Reserve was closer to ending its fastest rate hiking cycle since the 1980s. 



Two European Central Bank policymakers on Friday also raised the prospect of an end to the ECB’s steepest and longest string of rate rises. 



Higher interest rates discourage the buying of non-interest-paying bullion, which is priced in dollars.

 


The next ‘big’ catalyst outside of geopolitical risks would be more substantial progress on China stimulus measures or the beginning of Fed rate cuts expected by the first quarter of next year, said Baden Moore, head of carbon and commodity strategy, National Australia Bank. 



Other precious metals also looked set to post monthly rises, with spot silver leading at 6.5%, but down 0.5% on the day at $24.22 an ounce. Platinum dropped 0.9% to $927.38 and palladium eased 0.3% to $1,241.93.  

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