Gold edges down on rate-hike bets, firmer dollar
* Spot gold was down 0.2% at $1,999.12 per ounce, as of 0121 GMT. US gold futures fell 0.3% to $2,009.00.
* The dollar index was 0.2% higher, making bullion expensive for buyers holding other currencies.
* Data released on Friday showed US core retail sales, which correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product, slipped 0.3% last month, but the gains in January and February put consumer spending firmly on track to accelerate in the first quarter .
* US consumer sentiment inched up in April but households expected inflation to rise over the next 12 months. A separate report showed production at US factories fell more than expected in March, but eked out a modest gain in the first quarter.
* US central bankers “haven’t made much progress” in returning inflation to their 2% target despite a year of aggressive rate increases, and need to move interest rates higher still, Fed Governor Christopher Waller said on Friday. * The CME FedWatch tool now shows markets are pricing in a 80.8% chance of a 25 basis-point hike in May.
* Gold is traditionally considered a hedge against inflation, but higher interest rates dim non-yielding bullion’s appeal.
* SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.31% to 927.72 tonnes on Friday from 930.61 tonnes on Thursday.
* Spot silver dipped 0.6% to $25.22 per ounce, platinum fell 0.8% to $1,036.26 and palladium shed 1.1% to $1,487.08.