Gold edges down on firmer dollar, US rate-hike worries
* Spot gold was down 0.2% at $1,837.59 per ounce, as of 0048 GMT. US gold futures eased 0.1% to $1,847.60.
* The dollar index was up 0.2%, making greenback-priced bullion less attractive for buyers holding other currencies.
* Money markets are now expecting the Fed to raise benchmark rates above 5% by May, with rates to peak at 5.3% in July, after recent data showed a tight job market, along with high inflation and consumer prices.
* Gold is considered a hedge against soaring inflation, but high interest rates increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.
* Data on Friday showed US import prices dropped for a seventh straight month in January amid declining costs for energy products, leading to the smallest annual increase in imported inflation in two years. * A sharp retreat in domestic prices boosted retail demand for physical gold in India last week, prompting dealers to charge premiums for the first time in more than three months.
* SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.13% to 919.92 tonnes on Friday from 921.08 tonnes on Thursday.
* Spot silver lost 0.7% to $21.58 per ounce, platinum fell 0.3% to $914.17 and palladium shed 0.6% to $1,488.61.
* Market activity could be relatively low on Monday due to a holiday in the United States.